KABUL (SW): Salam Watandar has obtained documents that suggest Lt. Gen. Abdullah Habibi has prohibited paying some AFN 600 million to the former militia men dissolved into security forces as per the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) initiative.
Under the December 2001 Bonn Agreement: "Upon the official transfer of power, all mujahidin, Afghan armed forces and armed groups in the country shall come under the command and control of the Interim Authority, and be reorganized according to the requirements of the new Afghan security and armed forces." In the year 2005, the cabinet approved a decision to retire all DDR men and pledged to pay the two years’ salary and residential land to the men.
The estimated number of DDR men is around 35000, and they have not received their payments for the past 10 years. On 2005/11/15, the cabinet council in reference to Article 31 of the Resolution 30 again pledged that the DDR men’s payment should be paid. It was decided that the payment would be made in instalments. This resolution bounded the Ministry of Defence to pay the payment, and it also recommended the MoD to pay the sum earlier than the due date if possible.
In accordance to the Resolution 30, the cabinet council notified the Ministry of Finance in the year 2016 to approve AFN 600 million.
On June 4th 2016, the director for finance and budget at the MoD notified the then interim minister to pay this sum. The interim minister (Habibi) however, disapproved it.
Najeebullah Mujahid, the head for general council of retired DDR men, on the other hand charged that the minister aims to embezzle this amount. Mujahid also charged that the minister of defence had asked him to pay ‘bribe’ when he was serving as head of cadres and personnel at the MoD.
Speaking to Salam Watandar, Dawlat Waziri, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, stated that MoD has not paid the DDR officers’ payment due to legal problems. He added that this case is under review at court. Brigadier Gen. Muhammad Radmanish, the deputy spokesperson for the Ministry stated some of the DDR officers have either rejoined the army or have passed away.
In the meantime Mujahid noted that it has been more than 10 years since then banking system has flourished in Afghanistan, and the MoD can forward the payments through the previous financial systems if this is the only reason behind the delay. Mujahid stated that the death and rejoining of the DDR officers does not relate to payments and pensions as the government is bound to pay the sum under any circumstances.
In a separate case, the defence minister has cut-off a bonus of AFN 6750 for the soldiers. On June 11 2016, the minister of defence ceased the bonus payment. Dawlat Waziri, the spokesperson for the MoD said that the bonus payment has been ceased due to technical problems. He added that this amount would be paid after it is approved by the President.