Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Corrupt poppy programme serves Taliban nicely

It looks as if the pre-harvest poppy eradication programme in southern Afghanistan is floundering.

This report suggests that the big players are escaping eradication by paying bribes. "The only people [whose crops are] being eradicated are those without money or connections," said one policeman quoted in the Daily Telegraph this morning. "On the eradication force, this is being called 'the season to make money'."

With a little over a month to go before the harvest, only about 5% of the 22,000 hectares targeted for destruction has been ploughed up: that's about 2% of the total area under cultivation this year. Expect a further rise in support for the Taliban as disillusioned farmers reject the corruption of the Afghan government and its employees.

No comments: