NATO: Afghan police mostly effective

Dec. 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Afghan local police officers, despite reports that some engage in illegal activities, have been effective, the NATO military leadership said in a report.

The report, written by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James R. Marrs and released Thursday, is in response to a critical Human Rights Watch report that detailed allegations of human rights abuses by the comparatively new Afghan local police force and by irregular armed groups, The New York Times reported.

Of the 46 accusations of human rights abuses included in September's HRW report, Marrs found seven were credible and 15 partially credible. He determined that 10 allegations were not credible and that 14 couldn't be researched enough to draw a conclusion.

The two reports described two types of armed groups -- local militias that are organized by local commanders, and the Afghan local police force trained by U.S. Special Operations forces.

Some of the specific accusations that the NATO report found to be accurate involved Afghan local police officers and some involved militiamen, the Times said. The NATO report agreed generally with some of the broad assessments by Human Rights Watch, including that Afghan local police officers need better training in basic human rights.

The Marrs report concluded accusations of complicity in human rights abuses by American Special Operations trainers weren't substantiated, the Times said. It did, however, document problems in three of the four areas of the country where the Afghan local police are active.

The report included recommendations such as better training in human rights and creating specific procedures to discipline or dismiss local police officers.

The NATO report did not address concerns with irregular militias, made up of people who receive no training.

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