US Rights Group Accuses Iran, Pakistan and Russia of Fueling Afghan War
The US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday accused Pakistan, Iran, and Russia of providing military support to Afghan factions with long records of committing gross abuses of human rights.
Other states in the region have also contributed to the ongoing war, HWR said in a report published on its website.
"The civil war in Afghanistan has been absolutely disastrous for civilians," said Joost R. Hiltermann, executive director of the arms division of Human Rights Watch.
"An arms embargo is the only way to stop the human rights violations they have suffered."
The 55-page report, Crisis of Impunity: The Role of Pakistan, Russia, and Iran in Fueling the Civil War in Afghanistan, details the nature of military support provided to the warring parties; the major transit routes used to move arms and other equipment; the suppliers; the role of state and non-state actors; and the response of the international community.
The ruling Taliban militia, which controls most of the impoverished country between Pakistan and Iran, captured Kabul in 1996 but is still battling a range of loosely affiliated opposition groups in various areas.
"Most of the recent violations, especially summary executions and indiscriminate aerial bombardment, have been by the Taliban, while the United Front (opposition alliance) has failed to hold its commanders accountable for past abuses," the New York-based group said.
The UN slapped an arms embargo on the Taliban in January for the militia's refusal to hand over indicted Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden for trial.
The embargo does not apply to the opposition forces, based mainly in the northeast bordering Tajikistan and the west near Iran.
The Saudi millionaire is wanted for allegedly plotting twin US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998.
"The United Nations Security Council should impose a comprehensive embargo on all military assistance against all warring factions in Afghanistan," HRW said.
Pakistan is said to be feeding the Taliban's war effort while Iran and Russia are backing the opposition.
In addition, Saudi Arabia has provided funds to the Taliban, while private actors and some officials benefit from the smuggling that links these countries, it said.
"Pakistan, in particular, should be pressed to comply with the embargo, especially to prevent the resupply of ammunition and spare parts to the Taliban," it said – Albawaba.com
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