Afghanistan’s ministry of defense has announced the creation of a new militia force comprising about 36,000 men to defend areas that military-led operations have cleared of Taliban insurgents.
The move comes despite long-running accusations of rights abuses against the existing Afghan Local Police, which consists of local militias trained and paid by the U.S. military.
Defense Ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said in a brief statement the new force will consist of 7,500 officers of the Afghan National Army, or ANA, and 28,500 other personnel. The recruitments will be made from Afghan government-controlled areas where they ultimately will be deployed after undergoing military training to keep insurgents from staging a comeback.
He emphasized that the new Afghan militia force being raised will work under the direct command and control of the defense ministry. Waziri did not say when the recruiting process will begin.