Graeme Smith

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

The recent confirmation of the death of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the symbolic leader of the Taliban, has added fresh uncertainty to Afghanistan’s fledgling peace process.

There were already signs that Taliban unity was under stress, and the internal disagreements that have emerged since the announcement of Omar’s death have raised concerns that the insurgency could further dissolve into warring factions. These developments raise the daunting prospect of trying to broker peace with a movement at war with itself.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani enjoyed a minor breakthrough in his long efforts to negotiate an end to the insurgency when his team sat down with Taliban officials for talks in Pakistan on 7 July.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un grupo de hombres armados dejó atado a un prisionero en campo abierto en Afganistán, cogió un lanzagranadas y utilizó a la víctima como blanco para prácticas de tiro. Otro grupo reunió a hombres y niños, los encerraron en una mezquita y, acto seguido, fue casa por casa robando y violando mujeres. En otro lugar, una banda apresó al hombre más respetable de la aldea –un señor de barba canosa que se atrevió a quejarse acerca de su comportamiento– y lo arrastró atado a una camioneta hasta que murió.

Todos estos hombres armados reciben salarios de Estados Unidos como parte de un programa de 120 millones de dólares para apoyar a la Policía Local Afgana (ALP, en inglés).…  Seguir leyendo »

A member of the Afghan local police meets with soldiers from the U.S. Army in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

One band of Afghan gunmen tied up a captive in an open field, picked up rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and used the victim for target practice. Another group rounded up men and boys and confined them in a mosque, before going house-to-house to steal valuables and rape women. Elsewhere, a bunch of gunmen took the most respected elder of a village — a white-bearded gentleman who dared to complain about their behavior — and dragged him behind their pickup truck until he was dead.

Fighters like these collect salaries from the United States as part of a $120 million program to support the Afghan Local Police (ALP).…  Seguir leyendo »

“The Taliban are still here,” a pharmacist who sells medicine to remote villages in the southeast told me last month in this shabby frontier town. “People are anxious about 2014 because the troops are leaving.”

After his customers started to understand recently that the United States and its allies will pull out most of their forces this year, he said, his sales of medication for anxiety, depression and insomnia increased 30-fold. Fear of a Taliban resurgence is so widespread that it is hurting property prices and the value of Afghanistan’s currency, scaring investors away and impelling Afghans to seek foreign asylum.…  Seguir leyendo »