Global Perspectives

RC North: Critical Infrastructure Protection Force Discontinued?

Posted in Afghanistan by derjanosch on Monday, 26 December 2011

According to several Afghan news outlets the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) programme in several northern Afghan provinces is stopped. The reports do not state clearly in which regions which programmes will be halted. BNA states that “local police activities in some northern provinces, such as Baghlan, Kunduz and Talkhar” have been discussed, but do not state if CIP or other irregular police activities in these areas are stopped. The report further states that Minister of Interior, GEN Mohammadi “presented report about the compulsory activities of the local structures for preservation of important establishments (CIP) in Faryab, Jouzjan, Sar-e-Pul and Laghman provinces”, again without mentioning what that implies. What seems to be clear is that the issue has been discussed with the head of NATO and US forces, GEN Allen, and that the programme – in some areas – has been stopped.

As I wrote this morning, the Germans, commanding the Regional Command (RC) North, have not been very keen on having irregular armed forces in northern Afghanistan. In its annual Afghanistan report, the German government stated that “with its international partners” it will “in appropriate ways” influence the Afghan government to discontinue these militia programmes. Particularly the CIP programme stood out as it was de facto outside of Afghan government control. Funded by the US Commander Emergence Response Program (CERP), CIP troops neither received a uniform or a weapon.

In reports by Human Rights Watch and others, Afghanistan’s militia programmes have recently been sharply criticised for grave human rights violations. It is unclear if the reported discontinuation of the CIP in northern Afghanistan was influenced by the Christmas visit of the German minister of Defence, Thomas de Maizière.

I received the hint for this via twitter. Thanks!

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