Overseas aid handed to Afghan police was linked to ‘criminality and human rights abuses’, new report says 

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  • UK aid fund to Afghanistan ‘implicit in crime’ report finds
  • Some £252 million of taxpayers’ money was given to ‘corrupt’ Afghan police
  • This conclusion has come in a report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
  • It found that the police were involved in ‘extortion, torture and extrajudicial killings’

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The UK’s huge aid spending in Afghanistan is mired in ‘crime and human rights abuses’, a scathing report has found today.

It said £252 million of taxpayers’ money was given to ‘corrupt’ Afghan police, even though they were operating as a paramilitary force and engaged in ‘extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings’.

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According to the watchdog the Independent Commission for the Aid Impact (ICAI), senior civil servants have repeatedly tried to end the handouts but have been ‘overruled at the highest levels of UK government’.

ICAI Commissioner Sir Hugh Bayley said last night: ‘It is clear that the remarkable efforts of those working on the UK aid program have made a significant difference to many people in Afghanistan.

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According to the Independent Commission for the Aid Impact (ICAI), some £252 million of taxpayers’ money was given to the ‘corrupt’ Afghan police, even though they were operating as a paramilitary force and engaged in ‘extortion, torture and were involved in ‘extra-judicial killings’. Sentinel. Stock image of a view of Kabul from the surrounding mountains

‘However, the way in which the UK pursued its primary objective of building a viable Afghan state had major flaws, which contributed to its ultimate failure, and the use of UK aid to fund Afghan counter-insurgency operations. There are questions about the appropriateness of doing so.

The study shows that almost £3.5 billion of UK aid over the past two decades was given to Afghanistan as part of an ‘ambitious’ international effort to transform it into a stable and functional state.

However, this approach had major ‘flaws’ as the mission was led by the United States, which wanted to defeat the Taliban and exclude them from the political process.

The Foreign Office said: ‘UK aid has improved health, increased school enrolment, provided humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable, and helped to clear landmines and other unexploded ammunition.’

Over six years Britain spent £252 million on the salaries of local police and prison officers in an effort to improve security.

But the ICAI report noted that the Afghan National Police ‘acted primarily as a paramilitary force, operating armed checkpoints across the country in an effort to control the Taliban insurgency’.

Heavy casualties led to low morale, desertion, theft of weapons and ‘ghost officers’ on the payroll.

“There have been numerous reports from human rights organizations of police corruption and brutality, including extortion, arbitrary detention, torture and extrajudicial killings,” the monitor said.

Although UK support helped protect residents from the Taliban and reduced demands for bribes, the police force ‘did not develop an adequate civilian police role, making it a questionable use of the aid budget.’

‘We found evidence of several attempts at senior levels to end support, which were rejected at the highest levels of UK government,’ the study said.

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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