1 » SUMMARY OCTOBER 2014 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SUMMARY OF SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL AND NANGARHAR PROVINCE
3 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN CONTENTS INTRODUCTION... 2 METHODOLOGY & MAIN FINDINGS... 3 SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL... 4 Bagrami district Istalif district... 7 SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN NANGARHAR... 9 Kama district... 9 Behsud district ACRONYMES & GLOSSARY
4 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN introduction INTRODUCTION A crucial condition for peace and security in Afghanistan is a strong and functioning judiciary system; one in which all Afghans can exercise their right to justice. This document summarizes an in-depth mapping of the security situation and the access to justice that community members in four districts of eastern Afghanistan have. How do they seek justice when their rights are violated? What barriers do they face in pursuing justice? Formal judiciary systems in Afghanistan, particularly in rural regions, are either weak or non-existent. Security has deteriorated over the past few years and the Taliban gained renewed control. The person who has weapons on his side has the law on his side, is how a resident from Bagrami who was interviewed for this research, put it. Cordaid is convinced that establishing a culture of justice starts at community level. In close collaboration with our local partner organizations, Cordaid has developed an intervention called Community Security Architecture (CSA). A core element of CSA is the appointment of Community Security Architects (CSAs), who are from, and appointed by, their respective communities. Together with community members, CSAs identify and prioritize the security & justice needs that form the basis of action plans. These local-led action plans are shared with relevant authorities, such as the local government, the police and judiciary actors. Many Afghans are already familiar with local-led initiatives to improve their own security situation. As another resident from Bagrami put it: security is provided by the people themselves. He was referring to civilian patrols that try to keep the streets safe at night. CSAs work to ensure that such initiatives, often born out of sheer necessity, are embedded in formal systems and properly aligned with authorities. A judge in Behsud District The security & justice mapping was conducted in support of the work of CSAs in the four districts in Kabul and Nangarhar Province. The local security & justice dynamics differ per district. In Beshud, for example, an overwhelming majority cited unpunished criminality, such as theft and mugging, as the biggest threat to their security. In Kama district, which is only 35 kilometers away, disputes over land proved to be communities biggest concern. Numerous interviews with community leaders and hundreds of residents provided unique insights in these specific contexts. This summary includes the key findings and highlights the main observations. Cordaid is grateful to Afghan Women Resource Centre (AWRC) and The Liaison Office (TLO) who have been our core partners in conducting this research and implementing the Community Security Architecture program. Hetty Burgman Director Security & Justice Photo Rada Akbar 2
5 METHODOLOGY & MAIN FINDINGS BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN METHODOLOGY & MAIN FINDINGS RESEARCH AREAS SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING kama behsud kabul afghanistan nangarhar istalif bagrami Methodology 3 months of data collection (November 2013 January 2014) 4 communities in 2 provinces 70 interviews with community leaders 24 interviews with women s leaders 24 interviews with development actors 20 interviews with government officials 8 group discussions in Kabul 10 group discussions in Nangarhar Research area The research areas are the two rapidly developing peri-urban areas of Bagrami on the outskirts of Kabul, and Behsud on the outskirts of Jalalabad in Nangarhar Province and the two rural districts of Kama in Nangarhar province and Istalif in Kabul province, both of which have relatively easy access to major urban centers. Main findings The findings in this assessment confirm the importance of carrying out comprehensive groundwork in Afghanistan. The intensity and complexity of the conflict contexts in the four research areas proved to be very diverse. In Behsud district, for example, an overwhelming majority cited unpunished criminality, such as theft and mugging, as the biggest threat to their security. In Kama district, on the other hand, disputes over land proved to be communities biggest concern. Equally diverse mechanisms for resolving conflicts were discovered. In Bagrami, meanwhile, more and more people are turning to formal systems, like courts and judges. Contrast this with Behsud, where 96 percent of conflicts in are brought before traditional village shuras. Highlights: The main security threat in all study areas arises from nominally pro-government power holders undermining both security and justice institutions. Although present in all report areas, this threat appears to be considerably more pronounced in Behsud and Bagrami than it is in Kama and Istalif. In both peri-urban and rural areas, disputing parties currently have a preference for non-state forums for dispute resolution. Most interviewees, while clearly preferring non-state forums, also expressed a desire for a stronger and less corrupt state apparatus. And if such an apparatus existed, they might even prefer it to non-state forms of dispute resolution. Within the study areas insurgent presence is limited. And while insurgent connections certainly exist among the target populations (including some power holders), none of the areas have a long-term or large-scale insurgent presence. Within peri-urban areas the most common cause of major disputes appears to be alleged land grabbing by power holders, or land grabbing done with their backing. In all areas the barriers to accessing security and justice institutions are significantly higher for women than they are for men. However, women in the Kabul areas appear to enjoy greater freedom of movement, and hence institutional access, than their counterparts in Nangarhar do. However, women s access cannot be considered equal in any of these areas. Follow-up research Based on the results of the assessment Cordaid has started up an in-depth research initiative in collaboration with the Van Vollenhoven Institute (VVI), which is currently funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The research initiative is entitled Supporting Primary Justice in Insecure Contexts: South Sudan and Afghanistan. Cordaid and VVI met in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law. The NWO funding is provided in the context of a research agenda called Embedding Justice in Power and Politics, which contri butes to innovations for people-centered and context-sensitive rule-of-law reform programs in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Cordaid has also used the outcome of the assessment to pinpoint two areas for the training of female magistrates in Afghanistan, namely property and inheritance rights. 3
6 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL Photo Cordaid / Rada Akbar An interview with a female resident of Behsud district BAGRAMI DISTRICT Facts 30 minutes drive from Kabul city percent of the population are Pashtun, percent are Tajik and a very small minority are Turkmen 75 villages and a population of approximately 150,000 The government is the main employer, while 10 percent of the population work in sharecropping After the fall of Taliban, new settlers from neighboring districts and provinces migrated to Bagrami Districts surrounding Bagrami have a strong Taliban presence Security situation Main security threat: Local power brokers and their private militias are involved in land grabbing. Due to widespread corruption, criminals in Bagrami district enjoy impunity. Conflicts about land are at the heart of the most serious and longstanding conflicts between families and communities in Bagrami district. Due to the massive falsification of docu- Three types of land grabbing and occupation in Bagrami 1. Shahraks (loosely translated as townships ) is the name given to the settlements of powerful individuals and private companies on government land. Members of the government are often suspected of being involved in establishing Shahraks. After 2001 there was only limited administrative control of the new government in Bagrami. During that period, former commanders and power brokers resettled in the district and are now known to be the strongmen that rule these Shahraks. 2. Legal occupation of land under a Presidential Decree (2012), which stated that certain land plots are to be allocated to Kuchi families (nomads). 3. Illegal occupation of land under a Presidential Decree (2012), which stated that certain land plots are to be allocated to Kuchi families (nomads). ments, the exact definitions of land ownership are unclear. Out of the 817 surveyed conflicts and disputes in Bagrame district, 286 (35 percent) dealt with land-related issues. Residents said there is a general lack of security in Bagrami 4
7 SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN and some areas are known to be completely out of the control of the police. The lack of security forces on the ground has led to small-scale criminal activities such as pilfering, but there are also other, more serious, crimes, such as murder and drug dealing. Trading in hashish is rife in Bagrami and most of the villages are engaged in its production. In some villages people who stand in the way of powerful land grabbers have been threatened and have suffered actual violence. One respondent explained how the head of a village called Kamari was murdered six months ago for opposing land grabbers. The respondent added that the police are conspicuous by their absence in the Kamari area. Respondents in Bagrami named at least 10 illegal checkpoints, mainly set up by local power holders in Shahraks, that are manned by private militiamen and not the police. Women in particular, expressed their concerns over the forced recruitment of young, unemployed men and an increase in the proliferation of private militias in their area. Access to security and justice The young and older shura patrol together. ( ) The young shura are armed. People take turns to patrol with guns and the police just remain in their station. If the people didn t act with the police nothing would be done. [ ] Security is, in effect, provided by the people themselves. The most widespread forums for dispute resolution in Bagrami are informal mechanisms at village level. This includes first community or tribal shuras, individual elders or religious leaders, and the Ulema shura. Community members consider shuras at village level to be more competent in addressing their grievances than the formal institutions. A substantial majority of 80 percent of all 817 disputes and conflicts in Bagrami has been resolved at shura level. FIGURE 1: DISPUTES AND CONFLICTS SURVEYED FOR THIS STUDY AND RESOLVING INSTITUTIONS IN BAGRAMI Formal Security & Justice Institutions There are only between 22 and 30 officers to police the entire Bagrami district. Respondents considered the ANP to be ineffective, understaffed and untrained. Moreover, they said that police officers are susceptible to pressure from higher ranks and positions. However, the biggest concern of Bagrami residents about the police is their perceived involvement in unfair practices and corruption. Some respondents said they knew of police officers that had released criminals from jail after the intervention of local power holders or government authorities. I have been to the police, but I am not happy with their performance. The maliks and the government authorities have better relationships with them. When the police capture a criminal they accept a bribe and let him go [ ]. When we report things to the police or ask them to do something we do not expect much from them. Justice actors in Bagrami include the District Attorney, the Judge, the Head of Huqooq, the Provincial Council, the District Governor and the Chief of Police. Respondents perceive the Huqooq Department and the District Court to be understaffed and poorly equipped. The majority of the cases that reach these formal institutions are often referred straight back to the village shuras. Informal Security & Justice Institutions Because the residents of Bagrami do not trust the police to intervene efficiently, they have set up their own security system called Arbakai to assist the police in patrolling the villages. The Arbakai members carry light weapons or hunting guns while they keep guard. 8% 12% 80% 10% 26% 9% Village Shura District Shura District Court If shura members are unable to solve a dispute it can be referred to the formal justice institutions. However, a member of a village shura related what happens if they do so. We don t inform the government at all if there is a problem in the village. If the disputing party wants to bring his grievance to the government, it s his decision. But most of the time, the case is just referred back to us for resolution. In addition to village and district shuras, some influential local individuals are also involved in the resolution of disputes and conflicts. People living in the Shahraks of Bagrami, for example, said they bring their grievances directly to their respective powerbrokers, rather than going to local shura. They fear that decisions made by shuras will have little effect without the support of the powerbroker or his militiamen. These militias have a free hand in exercising their power and are they not held accountable for their crimes. 5 5
8 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL The person who is backed up by weapons has the law on his side, no one accepts the law and no one cares about the law. Machalga Machalga is a practice used during informal dispute resolution processes in Afghanistan. A guarantee in cash or kind is provided by the disputing parties and this is returned to them once the dispute has been resolved and both have agreed to the resolution. The practice is not widely used in Bagrami, but respondents said Pashtuns in the district recently used it to solve some of their disputes. Security and justice for women Main threat for women in Bagrami: domestic violence and the harassment of girls on their way to and from school. There are reportedly 26 women s shuras in Bagrami. These shuras, however, can rarely take initiatives independently, and they usually defer to men s village shuras for assistance. When it comes to formal institutions, none of the female respondents in Bagrami have ever directly filed a complaint at a police station. The only female police staff member in the district is reportedly working on petty administrative tasks, and she does not file complaints or patrol the district. A female respondent explained what happened when a woman from Bagrami went to the District shura to complain about her father-in-law, who refused to give her a promised dowry. She went to the district court but no one listened to her. Nothing happened. If there is a conflict no one listens to women, even when they leave their houses. If a woman reports a conflict she is threatened and her family s name is blackened. 6
9 SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN Photo Cordaid / Rada Akbar The district court in Behsud district ISTALIF DISTRICT Facts 60-70,000 residents 90 percent Tajik, less than 10 percent Sunni Hazara and 1 Pashtun village Significant winter migration of men to Kabul Main sources of income are agriculture and crafts, such as pottery People there earn an average 5,000 Afghanis ($ 87) a month (only half the average wage in Bagrami) Security situation Main security threat: The security situation is reported to be relatively good with only a limited level of insurgency and drug trafficking taking place. However, there have recently been water conflicts between communities and historic rivalries between jihadi commanders in Istalif persist. Although respondents insisted there were few security threats in the district, they conceded there was the occasional robbery at night. The causes for crime were said to be rooted in poverty and unemployment. Gambling and drug abuse (mainly hashish) were cited by women as activities that negatively affect their security. Access to security and justice Formal Security & Justice Institutions The Afghan National Army (ANA) and international forces are not present in Istalif, which means that the ANP is responsible for keeping the peace and maintaining security. Respondents were unanimous in their satisfaction with the performance of the police. Based on several accounts by both male and female interviewees, there appears to be extensive collaboration between the district residents and the ANP. However, this apparent satisfaction with the ANP seems to be a recent thing and is said to coincide with the arrival of the current Chief of Police a month ago. Disputes in Istalif are mainly over land, water rights and inheritance. Given that most Istalifis have a high reliance on agriculture for their income, these three causes are often inter-related. The majority of inheritance disputes are over land shares or disputes over water rights stemming from the need to properly irrigate agricultural land. Most of these disputes arise between individuals, although a few of them involve entire communities. The police in Istalif cooperate with village shuras, who keep the police informed of threats and crimes. The Chief of Police insisted that he consulted the elders on a weekly basis to hear about their complaints and address their problems. However, the residents said the police lack awareness of legalities and they insisted that both the villagers and police officers should have a better understanding of criminal law. 7
10 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN KABUL Formal judiciary processes in Istalif are reputed to be excessively lengthy and corrupt. One respondent explained that they can also be costly. I know of a conflict between two truck drivers who could not agree about whose truck should be loaded first. This triggered a conflict and they both went to the provincial authorities to solve it. A year later I saw one of them and asked him whether the conflict had been solved. He replied that he d spent 400,000 Afghanis and that the case was still pending. Stories like these have led to an overall reluctance to involve formal authorities in the resolution of conflicts. Informal security & justice institutions Conflict resolution relies heavily on traditional elders and maliks, who are involved in the resolution of 95 percent of conflicts. Village shuras are the main institutions for resolving disputes. In Istalif religious actors, mullahs and mosques play an important role in dispute resolution. Both male and female respondents insisted that consulting the local mullah was a key initial stage of dispute resolution, and religious figures are systematically involved in shuras when resolving a dispute. Residents explained that in Istalif dispute resolution went along the following lines. First of all the dispute is laid before the elders, who, in consultation with the local mullah, try to find a solution based on conciliation between the two parties. If the parties cannot agree to the proposed resolution, and several attempts at resolution fail, the case is then referred to the District Governor s (DG) office and the Huqooq. Disputes referred to the DG are invariably referred back to elders shuras for resolution. The DG is said to cultivate strong links with most of the maliks and district elders. Security and justice for women Despite accounts of more freedom of movement for women, compared to other areas of Afghanistan, female respondents pointed out that this freedom is limited to a small group of educated and influential women. In communities in Pashtun and Hazara, for instance, women are rarely allowed to go outside. There are no female police officers in the district and security issues are mainly addressed by women s shuras. The influence of the latter, however, was reported to be relatively limited, with their role being mainly one of acting as an intermediary to contact male shuras. The head of the district women s shura is said to be responsible for the entire district and she reports problems faced by women to the District Development Assembly, in which she is the only female member. Hasina Machbubi, the local head of the Istalif women s shura and Community Security Architect Female respondents indicated that they are reluctant to participate in justice processes or follow up on cases. In addition to a general ignorance about their rights and the process itself, this is because they want to avoid jeopardizing their personal reputation and that of their family. Photo Cordaid / Lotte van Elp 8
11 SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN NANGARHAR BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN NANGARHAR Photo Cordaid / Rada Akbar A focus group interview in Behsud district KAMA DISTRICT Facts A 45-minute drive from Jalalabad 250,000 residents in 59 villages The majority is from the Pashtun tribe High proportion of residents work for the government administration (30 percent) and NGOs (20 percent) People migrating to Kama district are attracted by its infrastructure, services and potential employment opportunities Security situation Main security threat in Kama: 36 percent of disputes in Kama are about land rights. The number of land-related disputes has increased recently, mainly because of burgeoning demographic pressure and the increasing value of land. There is occasional insurgent infiltration in Kama. However, all the male respondents said there were no times of the day or areas in the district in which they felt insecure, and that all roads were open and free for the circulation of people and goods. There were incidental reports, especially by some of the women respondents, of passive Taliban support in the district. Respondents complained about the increase of petty criminality, such a theft, although there were occurrences of more serious crimes as well, such as kidnapping for ransom, and even murder. According to the District Chief of Police, violent confrontations between families are the root cause of 85 percent of the security problems in Kama district. Access to security and justice Formal security & justice institutions The Afghan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan National Army (ANA) are both present in Kama. Kama has a total of 46 police officers and 8 lieutenants, which is considered by residents and by the District Chief of Police to be insufficient to cover Kama s 59 villages. There are no women police officers at district level. Respondents were skeptical about the police s capacity to address criminal and security threats, and its ability to engage fairly and effectively with the community. Respondents were also concerned that they do not patrol at night. The Chief Of Police said that cooperation between the village elders and the police was crucial. 9
12 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN NANGARHAR The police heard the house of an army official was about to be attacked. However, we could not do anything, because the road is unpaved and unsafe. We then called the elders to control the security situation of the road. The elders, in turn, warned their tribesmen who then controlled the roads so we could approach the house without any problems. Respondents also raised concerns about the influence of powerful individuals. For example, the interference of the Provincial Council (PC) in the election of the shuras was cited as a source of conflict. This was because PC members would mobilize networks of supporters among tribesmen to uphold the candidacy of a specific individual. Informal security & justice institutions Respondents in Kama preferred using informal institutions for dispute resolution. That said, the proportion of cases referred directly to formal institutions such as the district court and District Governor, is higher than in the other three researched districts. Unlike Behsud, for example, where most respondents said they are dissatisfied with formal processes, some Kama residents said they were satisfied with the formal system. Of the 186 cases recorded as part of the village survey for this study, a little over 50 percent were referred to jirgas with a 100 percent resolution rate, 26 percent were referred to the District Governor, 10 percent to the District Court (more than half of which are still awaiting resolution), 9 percent to the District Chief of Police (most of which were automatically transferred to the District Attorney or the court) and 5 percent to the District Development Assembly. FIGURE 2: DISPUTES AND CONFLICTS AND RESOLVING INSTITUTIONS IN KAMA SURVEYED FOR THIS STUDY 9% 1 (0.4%) 5 (5%) 3 (1%) The relationship between formal and informal justice providers appears to be quite good and well established. However, this is an exceptional characteristic in the landscape of justice mechanisms in Afghanistan. The District Governor, for example appears to be the official with the greatest involvement in cases in the district, often intervening on a personal basis more than an institutional one. Types of conflict & justice providers and duration of resolving cases Formal system: a six-to nine-month average for one case Informal system: one to three months (consistent with other areas of Nangarhar). Family & elders > family-related issues Village shuras > conflicts over land, water and family disputes. Ulema shuras > inheritance cases District authorities > mostly addressed in priority minor and major criminal cases, although the District Governor is also involved in the resolution of some land cases (albeit without any clear institutional mandate). Security and justice for women Women in Kama can only resolve their grievances among their family members and have no access to shuras. Kidnapping and harassment were notably cited as a serious area of concern, and one of the reasons why girls are prevented from leaving their homes to go to school. Generally speaking, when tackling threats to women, particularly domestic violence, it is perceived as shameful and detrimental for the reputation of the family or community to voice concerns about them. This was something that all female respondents wanted to emphasize. Problems are therefore kept secret and, ideally, resolved within the family and circle of close relatives. 10% 26% 50% There are no women police officers at district level and there is no other governmental organ that women can turn to. There was one mention of a Family Response Unit, although none of the other respondents or the district officials appeared to be aware of its existence. The establishment of a women s shura was notably cited as having been started up a few of years ago. Jirga However, this initiative failed because of the opposition of District Governor 259 (97%) some elders. District Court District Chief of Police 10
13 SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN NANGARHAR BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN Photo Cordaid / Rada Akbar A women s focus group interview in Behsud BEHSUD DISTRICT Facts The most densely populated district of Nangarhar province Ethnic composition: Arabs 60 percent; Pashtun 31 percent; Kuchi nomads & influential Pashai minority of 5 percent Well-connected, strong connectivity with the provincial centre and Pakistan as well as a paved highway to Kunar province 60 percent employed in the agricultural sector: main providers to Jalalabad and Kabul, 30 percent daily labor, 10 percent private businesses In the past 2 years, around 3,500 migrants arrived in Behsud from neighboring provinces and districts Security situation Main security threat in Behsud district: Behsud is almost entirely under government control and there is no day-to-day active insurgency in the district. There are, however, strong indications that the situation there has deteriorated during the past two years. Murder, theft, mugging and the kidnapping of government officials, were cited as being endemic in the district. The police are unable to deal with the sheer volume of crime and protect the criminals instead of the victims of crime. Respondents reported threats from the Taliban, incidental IEDs, and sporadic rocket attacks on the airport. However, many government employees and powerful pro-government people still live there, which tends to indicate that these are the exception rather than the rule. Of the 268 disputes in 25 villages surveyed for this study, 79 were reportedly over land, 56 were both criminal and civil disputes, and 54 were family disputes. Land disputes in Behsud are often triggered by the growing pressure for housing caused by the swelling flow of immigrants from neighboring provinces and the rapid expansion of neighboring Jalalabad city. Respondents attributed day-to-day criminality to the adverse economic conditions, while the more serious crimes are attributed to networks tied to the government itself. Wellconnected individuals have sufficient leverage to manipulate justice processes, creating very tense situations between communities. The biggest threats to our security are the government and its authorities, as they hold a strong controlling position that can break or foster the unity among tribes. ( ) After dark, I would never travel alone to the district center of Behsud. I would make sure I was accompanied by at least 10 to 15 other people. 11
14 BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN SECURITY & JUSTICE MAPPING IN NANGARHAR Access to security and justice institutions Formal security and justice institutions The Afghan National Army (ANA), Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan Local Police (ALP) are all present in the district. Some respondents considered police numbers to be insufficient in relation to the size of the population. Respondents made a clear distinction between higher-ranking authorities covering up for influential people, and police officers that claim to be insufficiently aware of legalities. If the police are unable to underscore the safety of the community, the elders in Behsud sometimes conceive their own security measures. Firing in the air, for instance, is considered as a nuisance that elders were able to stop by mobilizing the community to prevent such practices. Theft, another example, has been addressed by organizing community patrols in villages. Local people have now joined forces to eliminate insecurity from the district. The local elders gather every Friday so when issues arise they decide how to solve them. And if anyone ignores the elders decision they have to pay the price. For example, a youngster recently fired in the air and had to pay a fine of 20,000 Afghanis. Because of its reputation for slowness and the corruption of governmental justice institutions, there is an overriding reluctance to use the formal system to deal with criminality. We cannot go outside our homes after 7:00pm. A few days ago a villager had been heading home from the mosque when he was robbed of his cellphone and some cash. In fact, it s pointless going to the governmental authorities for such crimes. The process is so slow and they are demanded for bribes. FIGURE 3: DISPUTES AND CONFLICTS AND RESOLVING INSTITUTIONS IN BEHSUD THAT WERE SURVEYED FOR THIS STUDY 1 (0.4%) 5 (5%) 3 (1%) Of the 268 disputes that occurred during in the past year in the course of this study, 259 (nearly 97%) were reportedly addressed and solved by the village shura, five by the District shura (DDA), three by the District Governor, and one by the District Court. The District Head of the Court reported that 75 disputes had been referred to it during the past year, of which 58 were reportedly resolved. According to the District Head of the Court the lengthy formal process is due to the intervention in many cases of powerful local people and the fact that the court has no proper building or electricity supply. Informal security & justice institutions But even when a dispute is referred to a formal institution, the officials often refer it straight back to the tribal elders. The Elders in Behsud are credited with knowing more about the actual dispute than the government. The Head of the Court himself emphasized that elders are better equipped for dispute resolution and he underlined the vital role that jirgas play in justice processes. This trend was also confirmed by the Chief of Police, who said he referred an average of 20 cases a month, sending most of them back to the elders for resolution. Maliks Maliks in Nanagarhar, unlike in many other regions of Afghanistan, hold an official letter of acknowledgement from the state. Obtaining a letter from the local malik to verify a person s identity is said to be compulsory for rural residents. Respondents said that the maliks in Behsud were well respected and they are familiar with the jirga process. However, there were also rumors of corruption and favoritism, notably among maliks who are the main informal justice providers. This was something that women were particularly insistent about. Security and justice for women Biggest security threat for women in Behsud: female respondents notably insisted that inheritance and familyrelated disputes were rife. The women also highlighted badal, a customary practice that involves the exchange of women between a perpetrator and the victim s family to resolve serious disputes and avoid revenge killings. Young women who are given up as badal have no say in either the acceptance or rejection of the deal. Despite being banned by the Afghan Civil Code and Sharia law, this practice is still common practice in most rural regions of Afghanistan. % 259 (97%) Village Shura District Shura District Governor District Court Female respondents complained they did not have direct access to jirgas. If they don t bring a male member of the family, women risk being mistreated, because it is considered to be a breach of the family honor. There are three female police officers in Behsud, but none of the women who were interviewed were aware of their existence. 12
15 acronymes & glossary BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN AFGHANISTAN ACRONYMES & GLOSSARY ALP Afghan Local Police ANA Afghan National Army Machalgah As part of the non-state dispute resolution processes, a guarantee in cash or kind provided by the disputing parties and returned to them once the dispute has been resolved and both have agreed to the relevant outcome. ANP Afghan National Police Arbakai Generic term used to signify militia, usually pro-government DG District Governor Haq ul abd Literally, the rights of man ; as opposed to the rights of God (Haq-ullah). The former generally overlaps with Western legal concepts such as civil law, i.e. disputes between private individuals. The latter generally overlaps with Western legal concepts such as the rights of the state, and the criminal law enforced via the state prosecution system. Mahram A chaperone, usually a male relative, to accompany a woman on trips outside the home. Malik A traditional village/community leader serving as a representative of external interaction (such as with the state). Mujahideen Fighters in the jihad Mullah Islamic clergy usually affiliated to a particular mosque Shura Community council Jirga Traditional ad hoc conflict resolution mechanism Jerib Traditional unit of surface area measurement, in Eastern Afghanistan equivalent to 0.2 ha. Shahrak Township established by local power brokers with private militias Ulema A religious cleric or scholar Jihad Holy war against the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and subsequent Afghan Communist state; Waak Decision-making authority given by disputing parties to jirga members before the initiation of the jirga processes. Kuchi Pashtun (semi-)nomadic group 13
16 about cordaid Cordaid is based in the Netherlands and has country offices in 11 countries. It has been fighting poverty and exclusion in the world s most fragile societies and conflictstricken area s for a century. It delivers innovative solutions to complex problems by emphasizing sustainability and performance in projects that tackle security and justice, health and economic opportunity. Cordaid is deeply rooted in the Dutch society with more than 300,000 private donors. Cordaid is a founding member of Caritas Internationalis and CIDSE. contact Hetty Burgman Director Security & Justice Fréderique van Drumpt Program Manager Security & Justice cordaid.nl Cordaid the Netherlands Lutherse Burgwal CB The Hague +31(0) CARE. ACT. SHARE. LIKE CORDAID.
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