Originally published in The Diplomat Magazine
The vice president of Afghanistan, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, returned to Afghanistan on Sunday after self-imposed exile in Turkey amid allegations of rape, sexual abuse, and torture.
In December 2016, Ahmad Eschi, former governor of Jawzian, brought charges that he was detained, tortured, and sexually assaulted by Dostum and his guards. The Afghan Supreme Court ordered Dostum’s house arrest for these charges and the vice president fled to Turkey.
Dostum, a part of the Northern Alliance that toppled the Taliban in 2001, is known for his strong militia and Taliban killings. Yet his homecoming is a complex and controversial event.
Recently, Nizamuddin Qaisari, Dostum’s top commander, was arrested and his soldiers brutally killed by Afghan forces. Facebook videos revealed the Afghan Commando Forces making fun of the soldiers’ bodies, sparking massive protests and accusations against the government for misuse of power.
Dostum’s supporters protested, stormed government offices, burned properties, closed factories, blocked highways, and closed customs and borders — affecting Afghanistan’s economy and creating more chaos and fear for civilians.
The government, unable to control the situation, is seemingly looking to Dostum to impact these protests and settle matters down. There is speculation that this is the purpose for his return. But if one looks further, there are other reasons for his return at this time.
Read the full article on the website of The Diplomat Magazine
Ahmad Shah Mohibi is founder and president of Rise to Peace and a national security expert. Mohibi is a journalist and a news commentator on TOLOnews and is a published writer as well as a George Washington University and George Mason University Alumni. Follow him on Twitter at @ahmadsmohibi