• Inside the U.S. military’s raid against its own security guards that left dozens of Afghan children dead
    https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/12/29/security-guards-afghan-warlords-mass-civilian-casualties/2675795001

    It remains one of the deadliest civilian casualty events of the Afghan campaign. But the story of how the operation turned tragic has been largely hidden from the public.

    USA TODAY spent more than a year investigating the Azizabad raid and sued the Department of Defense to obtain almost 1,000 pages of investigative files previously kept secret because it had been deemed “classified national security information.” The records included photographs of the destruction in Azizabad and sworn testimony from the U.S. forces who planned and executed the operation.

    #civils #victimes_civiles #Afghanistan #sécurité_nationale #états-unis

    • The problems began in 2007 when ArmorGroup, a private security company working on a Pentagon subcontract, hired two local warlords on the U.S. intelligence payroll to provide armed guards at an airfield on the western edge of Afghanistan.

      Those warlords fought each other for control of the weapons and money ArmorGroup was giving out. The tangle of espionage and tribal infighting eventually drew in the very same military units that had helped empower the warlords in the first place.

      After two Pentagon investigations, the U.S. military denied any wrongdoing. Defense Department officials declined to comment for this story.

      A 2010 Senate Armed Services Committee inquiry laid blame with both ArmorGroup and the Defense Department for doing business with the warlords. In response to the Senate report, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued a letter recognizing problems with contract oversight, which he pledged to fix.

      [...]

      Lt. Colonel Rachel E. VanLandingham, a retired officer with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the chief of international law at Central Command’s headquarters during the Azizabad raid, said the commanders responsible for investigating the incident seemed to ignore the failures instead of learning from them. She did not know the details of the operation or the military’s response until contacted by USA TODAY.

      “The CENTCOM investigation seemed more worried about looking good than being good,” VanLandingham, now a law professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, said in an interview. “Everyone who deploys in Afghanistan should know this incident.”

      ArmorGroup agreed to a Pentagon requirement that it fill the guard positions by hiring nearby villagers. It was part of the Pentagon’s economic stimulus plan for Afghanistan, but it also was less expensive than bringing in guards from outside the country.

      "We are a commercial company, of course, we are looking to do the business as cheap as possible,” a company official later told U.S. military investigators.

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      Bref, l’article de #USA_Today sur le bombardement d’ #Azizabad n’y est pas...
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azizabad_airstrike

  • U.S. officials misled the public about the war in #Afghanistan, confidential documents reveal - Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents

    #Corruption généralisée, milliards gaspillés… Ce qu’il faut retenir des “Afghanistan Papers” révélés par le “Washington Post”
    https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/afghanistan/corruption-generalisee-milliards-gaspilles-ce-qu-il-faut-retenir-des-af

    C’est un nouvel éclairage capital sur la guerre en Afghanistan. Dans une grande enquête intitulée « En guerre avec la vérité », le Washington Post (en anglais) dévoile les errements des gouvernements américains successifs dans le conflit afghan. Ces révélations sont notamment fondées sur près de 2 000 documents émanant de l’Inspection générale spéciale pour la reconstruction de l’Afghanistan (Sigar), créée en 2008 pour enquêter sur les dépenses abusives liées à ce pays. Ces documents, obtenus après trois ans de recours en justice, ont vite été surnommés « #Afghanistan_Papers », en référence aux « #Pentagone_Papers » dévoilés en 1971 au sujet de la guerre au #Vietnam.

    [...]

    L’argent dépensé par les #Etats-Unis devait servir à mettre sur pied un « nouvel Afghanistan ». Il devait ainsi développer les écoles et les infrastructures, dans le but d’améliorer la sécurité et de lutter contre le sentiment antiaméricain de la population. « C’était une colossale erreur de jugement », estime une source anonyme, cadre de l’Agence américaine pour le développement international (#Usaid). « On nous a donné de l’argent, on nous a dit de le dépenser, alors on l’a fait. Sans raison. »

    « Nous n’envahissons pas les pays pauvres pour les rendre riches », a expliqué James Dobbins, ancien haut diplomate américain, envoyé spécial à Kaboul sous George W. Bush et Barack Obama. « Nous n’envahissons pas des pays autoritaires pour les démocratiser. Nous envahissons des pays violents pour les rendre pacifiques, et nous avons clairement échoué en Afghanistan. »

    #échec #vol

    • « Afghanistan papers » : ce que révèle le Washington Post - Amériques - RFI
      http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20191209-afghanistan-papers-washington-post

      L’illusion de la puissance

      « Le mensonge est concentré autour de l’idée que les États-Unis après 19 ans d’intervention ont réussi en partie dans leur effort de construction d’un nouvel État, dans une nouvelle société afghane sans qu’aucune de ces affirmations ait été étayée sur le terrain », résume le professeur en relations internationales à l’Université américaine de Paris, Philip Golub.

      Les acteurs sur le terrain, les chercheurs, les agences gouvernementales et internationales savaient que les discours officiels ne correspondaient pas à la réalité. Mais en revanche, la population américaine l’ignorait, souligne Philip Golub. Et ces révélations devraient, selon lui, « contribuer à accentuer la tendance au sein de la population américaine d’exiger un retrait des États-Unis des zones de conflit », pour des interventions qui « n’aboutissent pas et qui, au lieu de manifester de la puissance de la démocratie américaine, font exactement le contraire ».

      Le professeur de relations internationales explique les raisons de ces mensonges dans la difficulté - voire l’impossibilité - pour la première puissance du monde à « admettre la défaite ». « C’est l’apparence de la puissance qui est et a été la préoccupation principale, précise Philip Golub. Une apparence de puissance contradictoire puisque les interventions successives démontrent les limites de la puissance militaire ». Une« illusion de l’omnipotence des États-Unis »que les présidents successifs, démocrate ou républicains, « plus ou moins éclairés », n’ont jamais remis en question.

      #gendarmes_voleurs #juges_corrompus #destructeurs_nuisibles

  • US carries out fresh massacre in Afghanistan, killing entire family with drone strike - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/03/afgh-d03.html

    A US drone strike in Afghanistan last Friday wiped out an entire family after they were leaving a clinic, including a woman who had just given birth to a child.

    Gul Marjan Kochi, the head of the local council in the Alisher district of Khost province, where the strike took place, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the attack was launched against a carload of civilians who were heading home from a local hospital after the birth of the baby. He said that three women, two men and the newborn were all slaughtered in the attack.

    The account appeared to have been confirmed by the director of the Al-Madina clinic whom Pajhwok reported saying that the family had brought in a pregnant woman Friday night and had been discharged at around 11:30 pm after the birth. He said that among those who were present was a nine-year-old girl. Only later did he learn that they had all been killed.

    #guerre #afghanistan #états-unis

  • War crimes scandal: Army ‘covered up torture and child murder’ in the Middle East | News | The Sunday Times
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/army-covered-up-torture-and-child-murder-bfdc5rsmw

    Military detectives unearthed disturbing allegations that senior commanders had tried to hide war crimes by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, a year-long investigation by The Sunday Times and the BBC Panorama programme has established.

    Evidence had been found of murders by an SAS soldier and deaths in custody, beatings, torture and degrading sexual abuse of detainees by members of the Black Watch. The military detectives also discovered allegations of the falsification of documents serious enough to merit prosecutions of senior officers.

    #crimes #guerre #irak #afghanistan #grande_bretagne #royaume_uni

  • CEDH | La Suisse violerait la Convention en renvoyant un Afghan chrétien
    https://asile.ch/2019/11/07/cedh-la-suisse-violerait-la-convention-en-renvoyant-un-afghan-chretien

    La Cour Européenne des droits de l’Homme a rendu un arrêt le 05.11.2019 qui reconnaît que la Suisse violerait l’article 3 de la Convention en renvoyant un ressortissant afghan converti au christianisme. Dans l’ Affaire A.A. c. Suisse (Requête n° 32218/17) , la CourEDH relève que, selon de nombreux documents internationaux sur la situation en Afghanistan, […]

  • Why are so many Iraq, #Afghanistan war #veterans getting #cancer? | McClatchy Washington Bureau
    https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article236413328.html
    https://www.mcclatchydc.com/latest-news/pdp6o1/picture236729153/alternates/LANDSCAPE_1140/Stricken_KF_001.jpg

    McClatchy analyzed all billing data for veteran visits involving a cancer diagnosis at VA medical facilities from fiscal year 2000 to 2018. The data was obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. A more in-depth methodology of the review can be found here.

    McClatchy selected that time frame to look at what impact the last two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on veterans’ medical needs, even as the VA continues to treat veterans from past wars.

    Veteran Marine Corps Sgt. Mark S. Villamac Ho joined the military after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and deployed in early 2003 to Al Numaniyah, Iraq, as an aircraft rescue firefighter.

    In Iraq he was exposed to the firefighting foam the military is removing from service due to its links to cancer, and to the open-air trash-burning pits that more than 187,000 veterans have reported made them sick.

    #irak #fosse_de_brûlage #Substances_alkylées_per_et_polyfluorées #forever_chemicals #pentagone #toxiques #santé #carcinogènes #états-unis

  • #Afghanistan : CIA-Backed Forces Commit Atrocities | Human Rights Watch
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/31/afghanistan-cia-backed-forces-commit-atrocities

    Ces #milices ne sont pas simplement « appuyées » par les #états-unis, ces derniers participent à leurs #atrocités.

    “[...] the CIA has enabled abusive Afghan forces to commit atrocities including extrajudicial executions and disappearances,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director and author of the report. “In case after case, these forces have simply shot people in their custody and consigned entire communities to the terror of abusive night raids and indiscriminate airstrikes.”

    [...]

    Night raids have often been accompanied by airstrikes that have indiscriminately or disproportionately killed Afghan civilians. The dramatic increase in civilian casualties from US air operations over the past year may reflect changes to tactical directives eliminating measures that had formerly reduced civilian harm, including limitations on striking residential buildings. The US and Afghan governments have not adequately investigated alleged unlawful airstrikes in Afghanistan. In one case Human Rights Watch investigated, an airstrike called in by strike forces in Nangarhar killed at least 13 civilian members of two families, including several children.

    Afghanistan : HRW dénonce des #crimes paramilitaires soutenus par la CIA - Asie-Pacifique - RFI
    http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20191031-afghanistan-hrw-crimes-paramilitaires-cia

    L’ONG HRW précise que les forces paramilitaires afghanes ont été recrutées, entraînées et équipées par la CIA. Leurs liens étroits dateraient des années 1980, lorsque la CIA équipait les rebelles afghans et les moudjahidines contre les troupes soviétiques.

    #combattants_de_la_liberté #propagande

  • Letter detailing civilian presence failed to prevent deadly Afghan drone strike - Reuters
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-afghanistan-attack-drones-letter-idUKKBN1W430E

    Local residents expressed shock and anger that the attack occurred despite the letter and subsequent assurances of safety for the workers.

    [...]

    A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan confirmed on Thursday that the drone strike was conducted by the United States with the intention of destroying the hideouts of Islamic State fighters.

    Asked about the letter sent to the governor by the village elders, Colonel Sonny Leggett said that would be part of the investigation.

    #crimes #etats-unis #afghanistan #civils #victimes_civiles

  • Ratification de l’#accord_de_coopération entre l’#Union_européenne et l’#Afghanistan

    Alors que les députés viennent de mettre un point final au processus de ratification de l’accord de coopération entre l’Union européenne et l’Afghanistan, Amnesty International France et la Cimade déclarent :

    « En votant cet accord, les députés ouvrent la voie à des renvois plus importants vers l’Afghanistan alors même que la situation dans le pays est catastrophique et dangereuse. À quelques jours d’un débat sur les questions de migrations et d’asile à l’Assemblée nationale, la ratification de cet accord envoie un signal dangereux en faveur de la poursuite et de l’intensification d’expulsions de personnes vers des pays qui ne peuvent garantir la protection de leurs droits les plus fondamentaux. »

    Une vidéo sur le site d’Amnesty International France rassemble également des témoignages de ressortissants afghans renvoyés de force dans leur pays à partir de l’Europe. L’action commune « Halte aux expulsions vers l’Afghanistan » (https://www.amnesty.fr/refugies-et-migrants/petitions/halte-aux-expulsions-vers-lafghanistan), qui demande un moratoire sur les expulsions d’Afghans, a déjà rassemblé plus de 87 000 signatures.

    https://www.lacimade.org/presse/ratification-de-laccord-de-cooperation-entre-lunion-europeenne-et-lafghani
    #accord #UE #EU #renvois #expulsion #asile #migrations #réfugiés #expulsions

  • Trump rompt les négociations de paix engagées en #Afghanistan avec les talibans
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/09/08/donald-trump-annonce-la-fin-des-negociations-de-paix-engagees-en-afghanistan

    « S’ils sont incapables d’accepter un cessez-le-feu durant ces discussions de paix très importantes, et sont en même temps capables de tuer douze innocents, alors ils n’ont probablement pas les moyens de négocier un accord significatif. Pendant combien de décennies encore vont-ils se battre ? », s’est interrogé Donald Trump.

    [...]

    Les talibans, qui ne cessent de renforcer leurs positions, avaient pourtant multiplié les attaques au cours des dernières semaines sans jamais s’attirer de critiques aussi virulentes, ni remettre en cause les négociations conduites par l’ancien ambassadeur Zalman Khalilzad.

  • La #France projette d’expulser deux ressortissants afghans vers Kaboul

    InfoMigrants a appris l’expulsion programmée de deux migrants afghans de la France vers l’Afghanistan en septembre. Il pourrait s’agir d’une première pour 2019. Paris « entend augmenter » les renvois de ressortissants afghans cette année.

    Deux migrants afghans actuellement en centre de rétention administrative (CRA) au Mesnil-Amelot (région parisienne) et à Rennes (Bretagne) sont sous le coup d’un arrêté d’expulsion vers l’Afghanistan a appris InfoMigrants auprès de sources gouvernementales afghanes. Leur éloignement doit avoir lieu les 7 et 18 septembre, a confirmé la Cimade présente dans ces deux CRA.

    Si ces deux expulsions vers Kaboul ont bien lieu, il s’agirait des premiers renvois forcés vers l’Afghanistan - dont on ait connaissance - pour l’année 2019. Jusqu’ici les seuls chiffres rendus publics dans un rapport sénatorial faisaient état de « moins de 20 expulsions vers l’Afghanistan en 2018 ».

    La France « entend augmenter » les expulsions en 2019

    Ces nouvelles expulsions pourraient marquer un tournant dans la politique française de renvois forcés vers Kaboul. D’autant qu’elles coïncident avec l’examen par l’Assemblée nationale le 18 septembre d’un projet de loi visant à ratifier un accord entre l’Union européenne et l’Afghanistan.

    L’article 28 de cet accord comporte un volet sur la coopération en matière d’immigration en vue « d’empêcher les flux irréguliers », relève Lola Schulmann, responsable de la question des migrants et des réfugiés à Amnesty International. L’ONG craint que ce dispositif ne facilite les renvois forcés de ressortissants afghans.

    Des craintes justifiées, puisque lors de la présentation de l’accord au Sénat, le rapporteur du projet de loi a expliqué que la France « entend[ait] augmenter » ces renvois forcés en 2019.

    Une situation sécuritaire dégradée en Afghanistan

    « La situation en Afghanistan est toujours aussi catastrophique pour les civils et empêche de considérer le pays comme sûr. Dans un tel contexte, les renvois forcés d’Afghans sont illégaux et violent le principe de non refoulement, lequel interdit tout renvoi d’une personne qui l’exposerait à des violations graves de ses droits », avait pourtant alerté Amnesty, aux côtés de la Cimade en juin.

    Il en va de même pour ces deux nouveaux cas. Les conditions sécuritaires déjà désastreuses continuent de se dégrader en Afghanistan. « L’Afghanistan est l’un des pays les plus touchés au monde par le terrorisme. Environ 2 000 incidents de sécurité sont comptabilisés chaque mois dans le pays », indique le ministère des Affaires étrangères français sur son site.

    Près de 1 692 civils ont été tués dans des attentats l’an dernier, recense l’ONU qui comptabilise les victimes. Ainsi 2018 marque l’année la plus meurtrière pour les civils afghans depuis 2009.

    Face à cette situation, la Cimade et Amnesty internationale réclament un moratoire de la France sur les renvois forcés de ressortissants afghans vers Kaboul. En attendant, ces associations continuent d’alerter les autorités françaises sur les cas individuels qui lui sont signalés. Elles ont saisi le ministère de l’Intérieur pour les deux Afghans menacés d’expulsion en septembre.

    Contacté par InfoMigrants, le ministère de l’Intérieur n’a, pour l’heure, pas répondu à nos sollicitations.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/19304/la-france-projette-d-expulser-deux-ressortissants-afghans-vers-kaboul?
    #Afghanistan #renvois #expulsions #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_afghans

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • US troops targeted in suicide attack near Bagram Airfield - Middle East - Stripes
    https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/us-troops-targeted-in-suicide-attack-near-bagram-airfield-1.595662

    On Wednesday, two American Green Berets were killed by small-arms fire in northern Faryab province. The Pentagon provided no further details about the incident, but a #Taliban statement said the group was responsible.

    The Taliban’s top spokesman Sohail Shaheen told CBS news on the Friday that the American deaths “should have a positive impact” on the negotiations.

    They show “it is very necessary to put an end to the war, because if the war continues there will be bloodshed and destruction and loss on both sides,” Shaheen said.

    #Afghanistan #etats-unis

  • Taliban Peace Talks Must Not Ignore CIA-Funded Militias
    https://theintercept.com/2019/08/21/taliban-peace-talks-afghanistan-militias

    ... a new report from the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute argues that the agreement won’t lead to real peace unless it addresses the elephant in the room: the fate of regional Afghan militias paid and directed by the #CIA.

    “Militias that operate outside the control of the central state and the chain of command of its armed forces will undermine the process of state formation and the prospects for a sustainable peace,” the report reads.

    #milices #états-unis #afghanistan

  • Hamid Karzaï : « Les Américains nous dupent depuis très longtemps » - Libération
    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/08/06/hamid-karzai-les-americains-nous-dupent-depuis-tres-longtemps_1744000

    Faites-vous confiance aux #Etats-Unis  ?

    Non, absolument pas. Regardez ce qui nous est arrivé depuis dix-huit ans, comment pourrions-nous  ? Regardez comment, avec leur présence en #Afghanistan, le peuple a subi des pertes immenses. Regardez comment, alors qu’ils menaient soi-disant une campagne contre le #terrorisme, celui-ci n’a pas disparu mais s’est au contraire accru, en leur présence, sous leur surveillance. #Daech s’est implanté dans le pays il y a cinq ans, en plein déploiement américain. Durant dix-huit ans, ils ont totalement négligé les sanctuaires terroristes au Pakistan. Maintenant, ils disent qu’ils vont demander au #Pakistan d’y mettre fin. Mais pourquoi ne l’ont-ils pas fait plus tôt  ? Et en plus de ça, leur président vient de dire qu’il avait eu un plan pour anéantir notre pays [le 22 juillet, Donald Trump a assuré  : « Si j’avais voulu gagner la guerre, l’Afghanistan aurait disparu de la surface de la Terre. […] Je ne veux juste pas tuer dix millions de personnes », ndlr]. Comment faire confiance à un pays qui pense à vous faire disparaître  ? C’est impossible. Ils doivent se retirer totalement d’Afghanistan. Ni leur armée, ni leurs services de renseignement n’ont leur place ici. S’ils le veulent, ils peuvent conserver une simple présence diplomatique.

  • Caught in Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim backlash, evicted refugees search for safe homes

    Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers in Sri Lanka have spent the past three months searching for safety across the island nation after being swept up in an anti-Muslim backlash following the April terrorist attacks that killed more than 250 people.

    More than 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers were pushed from their rented homes after attackers struck six churches and hotels around the country.

    In the aftermath of the suicide blasts, rights groups say mobs in the coastal city of #Negombo – the site of one of April’s deadliest explosions – and elsewhere went door to door pressuring landlords to evict refugees, most of whom are religious minorities from #Pakistan and #Afghanistan, including members of persecuted sects.

    Local rights advocates and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, describe a volatile situation where plans to temporarily resettle displaced refugees were met with protests. In some cases, refugee families have gone from safehouse to safehouse only to be pushed out by local authorities.

    “Every effort that was made to relocate people was received with a lot of hostility,” said Menique Amarasinghe, the head of UNHCR’s Sri Lanka office.

    Roughly 90 refugees and asylum seekers forced from their homes are now living at a government-run facility in Vavuniya, in northern Sri Lanka, where they are under armed military guard. More than 100 other refugees are still sheltering at crowded mosques in Negombo and in nearby Pasyala, afraid to return to the surrounding communities.

    Ruki Fernando, a human rights advocate with the Colombo-based Inform Human Rights Documentation Centre, called the Vavuniya facility “a de facto prison”.

    “We’ve never had this situation in our history that refugees have been so scared they’ve had to live in camps guarded by armed forces,” Fernando said.

    Of the 1,000 people originally displaced, the UNHCR said 228 people are still looking for safe homes, including the 90 remaining in Vavuniya.

    The threats facing refugees are part of a larger anti-Muslim backlash that has deepened ethnic divisions in Sri Lanka since the Easter Sunday attacks, which authorities blame on a small group of Islamist extremists claiming allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

    Sri Lanka’s bloody 26-year civil war ended a decade ago, but analysts say the failure to reconcile wartime abuses has produced a culture of impunity that allows ethnic tensions to easily simmer today. Sri Lanka’s multiethnic society includes the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese majority, mostly Hindu Tamils, as well as large Muslim and Christian communities.

    Rights groups accuse Buddhist nationalists of stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment on social media, and Human Rights Watch says authorities have arbitrarily arrested hundreds of Sri Lankan Muslims using counterterrorism laws.
    Mosques become shelters

    In seaside Negombo, about 30 kilometres north of Colombo, a suicide bomber killed dozens of worshipers at the city’s St. Sebastian’s Church in April. The government declared days of curfews here in May after mobs attacked Muslim-owned businesses. Local landlords also evicted refugees and asylum seekers like Ahsan Mahmood, a 24-year-old Ahmadi Muslim from Pakistan.

    Mahmood fled to Sri Lanka two years ago. Along with 100 others, he has spent the last three months living inside the city’s Ahmadiyya mosque, which sits a few kilometres from the damaged church. Ahmadis are part of a Muslim sect that faces persecution in majority-Muslim countries like Pakistan; about 1,350 of the nearly 1,700 refugees or asylum seekers in Sri Lanka are Pakistani Ahmadis or Christians.

    Mahmood said he’s now too afraid to leave the mosque because his unkempt beard may raise suspicion. Like the others here, he relies on food donated by religious organisations and humanitarians.

    “When I go outside of the mosque I fear what will happen to me,” he said. “If the police stop me I have only two things to show them: my passport and refugee identification. If they don’t accept it, what would I do?”
    Refugees search for new homes

    With refugees like Mahmood evicted from their homes, the UNHCR said it had no option but to help relocate about 200 of the 1,000 displaced people to Vavuniya in mid-May. More than half have since returned to their communities or gone elsewhere.

    “We asked the government to provide a location with security to ensure they were kept safe during this time, with a clear understanding we weren’t looking for a place for them to be kept indefinitely,” Amarasinghe said.

    But finding more suitable refuge has been difficult.

    Amarasinghe said Vavuniya residents at first protested the decision to move refugees to the area until the UNHCR offered assurances it would be temporary. The government also guaranteed the facility would be under armed guard.

    The UNHCR is providing food and healthcare through a local NGO. But the refugees can’t receive visitors or move freely.

    Fernando said he tried to help evicted refugee families in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, move to safer areas in May, intending to place them with volunteer hosts in Jaffna in the north. But an attempt to move a single family was met with hostility there as well.

    “The host family registered them at the police on the day of the arrival, but the next day senior government officials opposed this,” Fernando said. “The distraught and exhausted refugee family was compelled to travel back to Colombo.”

    Rights activists and faith groups are still trying to protect refugees caught up in the backlash. Fernando said the Vavuniya facility is closed to visitors, but he’s trying to help a handful of residents there find better homes elsewhere in the country. In the last month, he said, a number of Sri Lankan families and a church have offered to host refugee families.

    The UNHCR is also meeting with police and local government officials in communities that had previously refused to register refugee families. It’s also meeting with local landlords to help more refugees return home or find new housing. The New Humanitarian was unable to reach government officials to comment on the issue.

    In Negombo, Sister Noel Christine, a Catholic nun, has become a defender of her hometown’s displaced asylum seekers and refugees.

    “These refugees have faced violence in their home countries and have come to Sri Lanka to seek asylum. Now they’ve had to leave their homes again,” Christine said.

    Each week, she brings food to dozens of men sheltering at the Ahmadiyya mosque, including Mahmood.

    The nun is also trying to heal the divided communities in Negombo. St. Sebastian’s Church re-opened its doors in late July, but the damage lingers for the city’s residents.

    “We’re all traumatised,” Christine said.

    She’s part of a local group – the Negombo United Citizens Alliance – created to help quell the hostility that followed the attack. “We come to the streets and we tell everyone not to resort to violence,” she said.

    But refugees like Mahmood describe a sharp contrast in their lives before and after the April attacks. He said local police and soldiers would occasionally harass him, but life was peaceful compared to the persecution he faced back home.

    Mahmood used to worry about his family still in Pakistan; now they fear for his safety as a refugee.

    “I pray for Sri Lanka,” he said. “I want it to be like it was before Easter Sunday.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/07/29/sri-lanka-anti-muslim-backlash-evicted-refugees-search-safe-home
    #réfugiés #Sri_Lanka #Sri-Lanka #religion #islam #anti-musulmans #terrorisme #réfugiés_afghans #réfugiés_pakistanais

  • Le #conflit en #Afghanistan a fait près de 4000 #victimes_civiles depuis janvier - Asie-Pacifique - RFI
    http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20190730-afghanistan-4000-victimes-civiles-manua

    La guerre continue à faire des ravages parmi les civils en Afghanistan. Malgré une baisse de 27 % du nombre de victimes au premier semestre 2019 par rapport aux six premiers mois de l’année précédente, la Mission des Nations unies en Afghanistan indique dans un rapport que 1 366 civils ont tout de même été tués et 2 446 blessés.

  • #Afghanistan : le domicile d’un ancien interprète de l’armée française attaqué

    La résidence d’un ancien interprète de l’armée française a été visée par des tirs à Kaboul en Afghanistan. L’#attaque s’est produite jeudi dans le quartier #Tchehelsoton de #Kaboul. Les hommes ont pris la fuite après avoir ouvert le feu sans réussir à pénétrer dans sa maison. #Said_Abas fait partie des #anciens_interprètes de l’armée française qui n’a toujours pas obtenu de visa pour la France.

    http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20190629-attaque-ancien-interprete-armee-francaise?ref=tw
    #interprètes #armée #France

    sur les interprètes afghans, une métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/740387

  • Afghan Migration to Germany: History and Current Debates

    In light of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Afghan migration to Germany accelerated in recent years. This has prompted debates and controversial calls for return.

    Historical Overview
    Afghan migration to Germany goes back to the first half of the 20th century. To a large extent, the arrival of Afghan nationals occurred in waves, which coincided with specific political regimes and periods of conflict in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001. Prior to 1979 fewer than 2,000 Afghans lived in Germany. Most of them were either businesspeople or students. The trade city of Hamburg and its warehouses attracted numerous Afghan carpet dealers who subsequently settled with their families. Some families who were among the traders that came to Germany at an early stage still run businesses in the warehouse district of the city.[1]

    Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the number of Afghans seeking refuge and asylum in Germany increased sharply. Between 1980 and 1982 the population grew by around 3,000 persons per year. This was followed by a short period of receding numbers, before another period of immigration set in from 1985, when adherents of communist factions began facing persecution in Afghanistan. Following a few years with lower immigration rates, numbers started rising sharply again from 1989 onwards in the wake of the civil war in Afghanistan and due to mounting restrictions for Afghans living in Iran and Pakistan. Increasing difficulties in and expulsions from these two countries forced many Afghans to search for and move on to new destinations, including Germany.[2] Throughout the 1990s immigration continued with the rise of the Taliban and the establishment of a fundamentalist regime. After reaching a peak in 1995, numbers of incoming migrants from Afghanistan declined for several years. However, they began to rise again from about 2010 onwards as a result of continuing conflict and insecurity in Afghanistan on the one hand and persistently problematic living conditions for Afghans in Iran and Pakistan on the other hand.

    A particularly sharp increase occurred in the context of the ’long summer of migration’[3] in 2015, which continued in 2016 when a record number of 253,485 Afghan nationals were registered in Germany. This number includes established residents of Afghan origin as well as persons who newly arrived in recent years. This sharp increase is also mirrored in the number of asylum claims of Afghan nationals, which reached a historical peak of 127,012 in 2016. Following the peak in 2016 the Afghan migrant population has slightly decreased. Reasons for the numerical decrease include forced and voluntary return to Afghanistan, onward migration to third countries, and expulsion according to the so-called Dublin Regulation. Naturalisations also account for the declining number of Afghan nationals in Germany, albeit to a much lesser extent (see Figures 1 and 2).

    The Afghan Migrant Population in Germany
    Over time, the socio-economic and educational backgrounds of Afghan migrants changed significantly. Many of those who formed part of early immigrant cohorts were highly educated and had often occupied high-ranking positions in Afghanistan. A significant number had worked for the government, while others were academics, doctors or teachers.[4] Despite being well-educated, professionally trained and experienced, many Afghans who came to Germany as part of an early immigrant cohort were unable to find work in an occupational field that would match their professional qualifications. Over the years, levels of education and professional backgrounds of Afghans arriving to Germany became more diverse. On average, the educational and professional qualifications of those who came in recent years are much lower compared to earlier cohorts of Afghan migrants.

    At the end of 2017, the Federal Statistical Office registered 251,640 Afghan nationals in Germany. This migrant population is very heterogeneous as far as persons’ legal status is concerned. Table 1 presents a snapshot of the different legal statuses that Afghan nationals in Germany held in 2017.

    Similar to other European countrie [5], Germany has been receiving increasing numbers of unaccompanied Afghan minors throughout the last decade.[6] In December 2017, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) registered 10,453 persons of Afghan origin under the age of 18, including asylum seekers, holders of a temporary residence permit as well as persons with refugee status. The situation of unaccompanied minors is specific in the sense that they are under the auspices of the Children and Youth support services (Kinder- und Jugendhilfe). This implies that unaccompanied Afghan minors are entitled to specific accommodation and the support of a temporary guardian. According to the BAMF, education and professional integration are priority issues for the reception of unaccompanied minors. However, the situation of these migrants changes once they reach the age of 18 and become legally deportable.[7] For this reason, their period of residence in Germany is marked by ambiguity.

    Fairly modest at first, the number of naturalisations increased markedly from the late 1980s, which is likely to be connected to the continuous aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan.[8]

    With an average age of 23.7 years, Germany’s Afghan population is relatively young. Among Afghan residents who do not hold German citizenship there is a gender imbalance with males outweighing females by roughly 80,390 persons. Until recently, most Afghans arrived in Germany with their family. However, the individual arrival of Afghan men has been a dominant trend in recent years, which has become more pronounced from 2012 onwards with rising numbers of Afghan asylum seekers (see Figure 2).[9]

    The Politicization of Afghan Migration
    Prior to 2015, the Afghan migrant population that had not received much public attention. However, with the significant increase in numbers from 2015 onwards, it was turned into a subject of increased debate and politicization. The German military and reconstruction engagement in Afghanistan constitutes an important backdrop to the debates unfolding around the presence of Afghan migrants – most of whom are asylum seekers – in Germany. To a large extent, these debates revolved around the legitimacy of Afghan asylum claims. The claims of persons who, for example, supported German troops as interpreters were rarely questioned.[10] Conversely, the majority of newly arriving Afghans were framed as economic migrants rather than persons fleeing violence and persecution. In 2015, chancellor Angela Merkel warned Afghan nationals from coming to Germany for economic reasons and simply in search for a better life.[11] She underlined the distinction between “economic migrants” and persons facing concrete threats due to their past collaboration with German troops in Afghanistan. The increasing public awareness of the arrival of Afghan asylum seekers and growing skepticism regarding the legitimacy of their presence mark the context in which debates on deportations of Afghan nationals began to unfold.

    Deportations of Afghan Nationals: Controversial Debates and Implementation
    The Federal Government (Bundesregierung) started to consider deportations to Afghanistan in late 2015. Debates about the deportation of Afghan nationals were also held at the EU level and form an integral part of the Joint Way Forward agreement between Afghanistan and the EU. The agreement was signed in the second half of 2016 and reflects the commitment of the EU and the Afghan Government to step up cooperation on addressing and preventing irregular migration [12] and encourage return of irregular migrants such as persons whose asylum claims are rejected. In addition, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan signed a bilateral agreement on the return of Afghan nationals to their country of origin. At that stage it was estimated that around five percent of all Afghan nationals residing in Germany were facing return.[13] To back plans of forced removal, the Interior Ministry stated that there are “internal protection alternatives”, meaning areas in Afghanistan that are deemed sufficiently safe for people to be deported to and that a deterioration of security could not be confirmed for the country as such.[14] In addition, the BAMF would individually examine and conduct specific risk assessments for each asylum application and potential deportees respectively.

    Country experts and international actors such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) agree on the absence of internal protection alternatives in Afghanistan, stating that there are no safe areas in the country.[15] Their assessments are based on the continuously deteriorating security situation. Since 2014, annual numbers of civilian deaths and casualties continuously exceed 10,000 with a peak of 11,434 in 2016. This rise in violent incidents has been recorded in 33 of 34 provinces. In August 2017 the United Nations changed their assessment of the situation in Afghanistan from a “post-conflict country” to “a country undergoing a conflict that shows few signs of abating”[16] for the first time after the fall of the Taliban. However, violence occurs unevenly across Afghanistan. In 2017 the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), registered the highest levels of civilian casualties in Kabul province and Kabul city more specifically. After Kabul, the highest numbers of civilian casualties were recorded in Helmand, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Faryab, Uruzgan, Herat, Paktya, Kunduz, and Laghman provinces.[17]

    Notwithstanding deteriorating security conditions in Afghanistan and parliamentary, non-governmental and civil society protests, Germany’s Federal Government implemented a first group deportation of rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan in late 2016. Grounds for justification of these measures were not only the assumed “internal protection alternatives”. In addition, home secretary Thomas de Maizière emphasised that many of the deportees were convicted criminals.[18] The problematic image of male Muslim immigrants in the aftermath of the incidents on New Year’s Eve in the city of Cologne provides fertile ground for such justifications of deportations to Afghanistan. “The assaults (sexualized physical and property offences) which young, unmarried Muslim men committed on New Year’s Eve offered a welcome basis for re-framing the ‘refugee question’ as an ethnicized and sexist problem.”[19]

    It is important to note that many persons of Afghan origin spent long periods – if not most or all of their lives – outside Afghanistan in one of the neighboring countries. This implies that many deportees are unfamiliar with life in their country of citizenship and lack local social networks. The same applies to persons who fled Afghanistan but who are unable to return to their place of origin for security reasons. The existence of social networks and potential support structures, however, is particularly important in countries marked by high levels of insecurity, poverty, corruption, high unemployment rates and insufficient (public) services and infrastructure.[20] Hence, even if persons who are deported to Afghanistan may be less exposed to a risk of physical harm in some places, the absence of social contacts and support structures still constitutes an existential threat.

    Debates on and executions of deportations to Afghanistan have been accompanied by parliamentary opposition on the one hand and street-level protests on the other hand. Non-governmental organisations such as Pro Asyl and local refugee councils have repeatedly expressed their criticism of forced returns to Afghanistan.[21] The execution of deportations has been the responsibility of the federal states (Ländersache). This leads to significant variations in the numbers of deportees. In light of a degrading security situation in Afghanistan, several governments of federal states (Landesregierungen) moreover paused deportations to Afghanistan in early 2017. Concomitantly, recognition rates of Afghan asylum seekers have continuously declined.[22]

    A severe terrorist attack on the German Embassy in Kabul on 31 May 2017 led the Federal Government to revise its assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan and to temporarily pause deportations to the country. According to chancellor Merkel, the temporary ban of deportations was contingent on the deteriorating security situation and could be lifted once a new, favourable assessment was in place. While pausing deportations of rejected asylum seekers without criminal record, the Federal Government continued to encourage voluntary return and deportations of convicted criminals of Afghan nationality as well as individuals committing identity fraud during their asylum procedure.

    The ban of deportations of rejected asylum seekers without criminal record to Afghanistan was lifted in July 2018, although the security situation in the country continues to be very volatile.[23] The decision was based on a revised assessment of the security situation through the Foreign Office and heavily criticised by the centre left opposition in parliament as well as by NGOs and churches. Notwithstanding such criticism, the attitude of the Federal Government has been rigorous. By 10 January 2019, 20 group deportation flights from Germany to Kabul were executed, carrying a total number of 475 Afghans.[24]

    Assessing the Situation in Afghanistan
    Continuing deportations of Afghan nationals are legitimated by the assumption that certain regions in Afghanistan fulfil the necessary safety requirements for deportees. But how does the Federal Government – and especially the BAMF – come to such arbitrary assessments of the security situation on the one hand and individual prospects on the other hand? While parliamentary debates about deportations to Afghanistan were ongoing, the news magazine Spiegel reported on how the BAMF conducts security assessments for Afghanistan. According to their revelations, BAMF staff hold weekly briefings on the occurrence of military combat, suicide attacks, kidnappings and targeted killings. If the proportion of civilian casualties remains below 1:800, the level of individual risk is considered low and insufficient for someone to be granted protection in Germany.[25] The guidelines of the BAMF moreover rule that young men who are in working age and good health are assumed to find sufficient protection and income opportunities in Afghanistan’s urban centres, so that they are able to secure to meet the subsistence level. Such possibilities are even assumed to exist for persons who cannot mobilise family or other social networks for their support. Someone’s place or region of origin is another aspect considered when assessing whether or not Afghan asylum seekers are entitled to remain in Germany. The BAMF examines the security and supply situation of the region where persons were born or where they last lived before leaving Afghanistan. These checks also include the question which religious and political convictions are dominant at the place in question. According to these assessment criteria, the BAMF considers the following regions as sufficiently secure: Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Bamiyan, Takhar, Samangan and Panjshir.[26]

    Voluntary Return
    In addition to executing the forced removal of rejected Afghan asylum seekers, Germany encourages the voluntary return of Afghan nationals.[27] To this end it supports the Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum Seekers in Germany which covers travel expenses and offers additional financial support to returnees. Furthermore, there is the Government Assisted Repatriation Programme, which provides financial support to persons who wish to re-establish themselves in their country of origin. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organises and supervises return journeys that are supported by these programmes. Since 2015, several thousand Afghan nationals left Germany with the aid of these programmes. Most of these voluntary returnees were persons who had no legal residence status in Germany, for example persons whose asylum claim had been rejected or persons holding an exceptional leave to remain (Duldung).

    Outlook
    The continuing conflict in Afghanistan not only causes death, physical and psychological hurt but also leads to the destruction of homes and livelihoods and impedes access to health, education and services for large parts of the Afghan population. This persistently problematic situation affects the local population as much as it affects migrants who – voluntarily or involuntarily – return to Afghanistan. For this reason, migration out of Afghanistan is likely to continue, regardless of the restrictions which Germany and other receiving states are putting into place.

    http://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/migration/laenderprofile/288934/afghan-migration-to-germany
    #Allemagne #Afghanistan #réfugiés_afghans #histoire #asile #migrations #réfugiés #chiffres #statistiques #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #procédure_d'asile
    ping @_kg_

  • How US “#good_guys” wiped out an Afghan family — The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2019-06-03/us-bomb-kills-afghan-family

    The US denied repeatedly that it had bombed Masih’s house, or even that any airstrike in his area had taken place. But using satellite imagery, photos and open source content, we proved that denial false. Following our investigation, the military has now admitted that it did conduct a strike in that location, but it still denies it resulted in civilian deaths.

    #etats-unis #crimes #civils #victimes_civiles #afghanistan