Security in Afghanistan Is Deteriorating, Aid Groups Say
With the increased number of attacks by insurgents, humanitarian aid groups are finding it more difficult to work in Afghanistan. Even more, Christian aid groups have faced additional obstacles, being falsely accused by government officials and protestors for proselytizing. In early August, ten Christian aid workers were murdered when bringing medical assistance to a remote village. The Taliban announced that they killed the workers because they were “preaching Christianity”.
By Rod Nordland
9/11/2010 Afghanistan (New York Times) – Even as more American troops flow into the country, Afghanistan is more dangerous than it has ever been during this war, with security deteriorating in recent months, according to international organizations and humanitarian groups.
Large parts of the country that were once completely safe, like most of the northern provinces, now have a substantial Taliban presence — even in areas where there are few Pashtuns, who previously were the Taliban’s only supporters. As NATO forces poured in and shifted to the south to battle the Taliban in their stronghold, the Taliban responded with a surge of their own, greatly increasing their activities in the north and parts of the east.
The number of insurgent attacks has increased significantly; in August 2009, insurgents carried out 630 attacks. This August, they initiated at least 1,353, according to the Afghan N.G.O. Safety Office, an independent organization financed by Western governments and agencies to monitor safety for aid workers.
An attack on a Western medical team in northern Afghanistan in early August, which killed 10 people, was the largest massacre in years of aid workers in Afghanistan.
“The humanitarian space is shrinking day by day,” said a CARE Afghanistan official, Abdul Kebar.
Despite the spread of the conflict, humanitarian organizations say they are still able to serve Afghans in much of the country. They have to be much more careful, restricting their movements and pulling back from some areas altogether.