Afghan Tribe Enters Into Pact in Exchange for Aid

International Security Assistance Force members speak to local Afghans about demolishing a wall while Marines conduct road improvement operations adjacent to the wall in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan. Leaders of a major tribe in the Sangin district have struck a deal with the Afghan government and international coalition forces to help halt insurgent attacks and surrender homemade weapons in order to gain foreign aid. Photo by: International Security Assistance Force

Leaders of one of Afghanistan’s largest tribes have struck a deal with the Afghan government and international coalition forces to help halt insurgent attacks and surrender homemade weapons in order to gain foreign aid.

The pact reached with Alikozai tribal leaders also include assistance in expelling foreign militants from the tribe’s region in the Sangin district of Helmand province, according to The Wall Street Journal. People of the Sangin district likewise agreed to help stop attacks on development initiatives to attract more foreign aid, the newspaper adds, citing the provincial spokesperson, Daoud Ahmadi.

As part of the agreement, Alikozai elders promised to give the coalition “freedom of movement” while completing the construction work on a road connecting Sangin to the other districts of Helmand. In exchange, they are requesting medical clinics, schools and freedom to move around, according to U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Mills, who commands the coalition forces in southwest Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman denied the existence of such an agreement, saying it was propaganda by the coalition forces, the Wall Street Journal says.

Sangin is one of the hubs for opium-processing, which is a key source of funding for militants, the newspaper explains, adding that coalition forces have struggled to take control of the district and lost approximately 100 British soldiers during a four-year mission there.

About the author

  • Ivy mungcal 400x400

    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.