Shar-e-Cott, pt. 1

Posted By: Erica In Afghanistan, even when there is the will and the resources, increasing security considerations often make it difficult to impossible to reach civilians caught in conflict. When I was in Gardez a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed an ACAP distribution of tools and materials to support a community construction project for…

Exploding Threat to Afghans

Posted By: Erica On May 30th, 110 nations [now 111] signed the Cluster Munitions Treaty in Dublin, Ireland. The treaty bans the use, development and stockpiling of cluster munitions–a type of weapon that when dropped aerially or ground-launched, disperses hundreds or thousands of tiny submunitions (or bomblets) that can cover an area as wide as…

Air Raids in Gardez

Posted By: Erica Today I went to a small city, Gardez, a few hours south of Kabul. I stayed at a UN guesthouse and at different points of the day and night you could hear the faint sound of gunfire and explosions in the distance. Although Gardez itself is relatively stable, it’s only about 10…

Disappearances, Pt. 2

Posted By: Erica When his family members went missing, Shafek went with his father and his uncle to the “front lines” of Kabul (ironically a road that is now so peaceful that my office is located there). They saw bodies strewn everywhere. Many of them had been mutilated, a woman’s head atop a man’s body,…

Disappearances, pt 1

Posted By: Erica I met with a man named Shafek today. He works with a victim’s group, helping develop transitional justice programming for Afghan victims of conflict. Most of the Afghans in this group have suffered losses in the pre-2001 conflicts, and Shafek’s own experiences are drawn from the Afghan Civil War in the 1990s.…