Taliban-Backed Kuchis to Create a Humanitarian Crisis in Parts of Afghanistan

After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, armed nomads from eastern and southern provinces and even Pakistan have entered parts of the Hazarajat. The nomads, who have the full support of the Taliban and are fully armed, claim ownership of the people’s lands and are destroying farms. Residents of some areas in Maidan Wardak and Ghazni provinces report that they have nothing left to harvest this year and that all their crops have been destroyed by nomads. It is also reported that nomads have harassed Uzbek and Turkmen people in the northern city of Jawzjan.

Simultaneously with the harassment of the people by nomads, there has been controversy and even armed clashes in several provinces, especially in Parwan province.

Residents of Sheikh Ali district of Parwan province are complaining about the influx of nomads in their district. According to them, the nomads deliberately dumped their livestock on the fields of the villagers, using the influence and military equipment of the Taliban. Residents report that the Taliban’s indifference and silence to the matter has led to armed clashes between locals and nomads, leaving more than 20 people injured. They warn that if this problem is not addressed soon, a “humanitarian catastrophe” would occur.

Residents of Sheikh Ali district in the Ghorband Valley of Parwan province have various accounts of nomadic attacks on their farms. According to them, the nomads are currently attacking the Jurf, Jangalak and Dara valleys of Sheikh Ali district.

Ismail (pseudonym) is a resident of Dara-e-Jurf, Sheikh Ali district. He adds that the nomads, in addition to destroying agricultural products, are harassing the local residents too.

According to Ismail, the nomads claim that they have the right to use the pastures of the area based on documents they have from their ancestors. Ismail, however, dismissed the nomads’ claim as baseless, saying that for the first time since the Taliban came to power, they have attacked a number of areas in the Sheikh Ali district. He stressed that the nomads are harassing the local people by using their names and in some cases even with Taliban military equipment. “The nomads have been invading our lands for a month now, deliberately abandoning their livestock on our crops,” he added. “Some time ago we tried to stop them, they shot at us and wounded several people. In the past, very few of them used to come during the spring season, but now they have attacked the area and are trying to capture our lands and agricultural fields,” he said.

According to locals, most of the nomads are armed, and if anyone tries to prevent them from entering their personal lands and areas, they face the armed consequences by nomads.

In the latest case, on Tuesday evening, armed nomads deliberately directed their livestock in the Jangalak Valley of Sheikh Ali district on agricultural lands. According to sources, armed nomands fired at the people when they tried to prevent the livestock entering the agricultural fields.

“Yesterday, nomads arrived at the valley with their livestock,” one of the witnesses, Qiyamuddin (nickname), told Hasht-e Subh. “Again the locals asked them to leave the area, this is not a place for you to bring your livestock. But some of the nomads took up arms and others attacked the locals with sticks and stones. Locals had not option but to response the same as the nomads which resulted the clashes to break out. More than 10 people, including a nomad, were injured as a result,” he added.

Qayamuddin further clarified that the clash between the two sides ended with the mediation of the local Taliban and the wounded nomads were shifted to Charikar by ambulance for medical treatment.

“When an ambulance carrying a wounded man wanders around the area, it encounters a group of Taliban fighters,” he added. “When the Taliban saw an ambulance transporting a wounded nomad to a provincial hospital for treatment, they severely beat the driver and the doctor because they were locals.”

However, some residents of Sheikh Ali district say that during the course of the last one-month, more than 20 people have been injured in armed and physical clashes between local residents and nomads in the district.

“Given this situation, there will be a humanitarian catastrophe if this problem is not resolved,” said Abdullah, a local resident.

The dispute between the nomads and the locals is not limited to Parwan province. Nomads have also harassed people in other provinces this year. There are even reports that nomads have shot dead locals in several provinces.

Although disputes between nomads and sedentary people occur almost every year, no attempt has been made to resolve these disputes permanently during any period. Whenever there is a dispute, a commission is being set up to resolve the dispute and nothing more is done to dig the root of the cause and drive permanent solution.

The problem of nomads and villagers has been going on in different parts of the country for years, and this conflict starts every year at the beginning of the spring.

The issue of nomads entering the agriculture fields in diffident parts of the country, particularly Hazarajat has been a historical issue, which has roots in decrees of forced displacement issued by and in the time of brutal king, Abdur-Rahman, a brutal king who forcefully displaced Hazaras from their ancient geographic lands and distributed their lands amongst the Pashtun ethnic.

Now based on these illegitimate and cruel decrees, Nomads enter the Hazarajat every time when the government is pure Pashtun ethnic dominated. Like now that Taliban rules the country, it is the best chance for nomads to use the opportunity and Taliban does not care if it results to sever clashes between the localities and nomads. Taliban back the nomads and arm them while, the residents are all disarmed and helpless.