Posted By: Rebecca W., Erica in Afghanistan

Another of Goli’s brothers was shot by the ISAF troops and was taken away to Kandahar Air Field (KAF) for questioning. His mother and father went to KAF to beg for his release and to insist that he was innocent. The military provided him with hospital treatment and released him after establishing that he was not a member of the Taliban. All the other injured family members were taken to the local hospital and the family had to sell half of their land in order to pay for the hospital bills.

Three days after the attacks, the Canadian troops came to the village and apologized for the deaths and injuries and paid money to the villagers. The injured civilians even received a visit in hospital from President Karzai and the governor. Every injured person received 20,000 Afghanis (approx. $430) to help pay for the hospital bills. No money, however, was given to compensate for the deaths or for the loss of property and livestock.
Now this family has moved from their village because the security situation is just too unstable. Their houses and land are destroyed. Their livestock is dead. One brother occasionally returns to the land to collect some produce for the family to eat. Otherwise, the family makes a small amount of money by selling goods from a metal container in Kandahar city. As with so many injured and displaced civilians, they rely on the good-will of family and neighbors and pray every day that the fighting will end. At the end of the interview, Haji threw up his hands and declared: “I am angry. We have no hope from the government and no hope from the international community. Everyone has lied to us – the Canadians, the PRT, the government. I only trust God now.” Still, despite this anger, this injured man was still capable of making a joke – even if he said it with a rueful smile: “I was the first person to cast my vote for Karzai, but this time I will cast my vote for my donkey. It’s better.”

Image courtesy of CIVIC