Netherlands Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan

Embassy visit to Kunduz

The Embassy of The Netherlands visited Kunduz-city early December. The purpose of this visit was to discuss the current situation in Kunduz, to monitor the implementation of the Netherlands’ Kunduz rule of law program, and to discuss our future activities in this province.

It is very clear that Kunduz still faces significant challenges. Obviously, the security situation is a major challenge, as well as corruption and the economic situation.

From 2011 to 2013, the Dutch integrated police training missions have been working to strengthen the entire justice system in Kunduz. The Netherlands handed over full responsibility for police training to the Afghan Government in 2013. After this, the Netherlands continued to support the strengthening of the rule of law in Kunduz province through NGO’s. It is promising to see that the Afghan Government continues training police officers at the police training facilities, and to see that the strengthening of the rule of law in Kunduz continues. It was especially promising to meet the new Chief Prosecutor for Kunduz, who in the past received support from the Netherlands for his activities with the Afghan Independent Bar Association (AIBA).

To name a few results:

• Since AIBA opened its office, the number of lawyers in Kunduz has risen from tot 12 to 65, including 7 female lawyers;
• Women can obtain free advice from the Office for Women’s Affairs in Kunduz nowadays;
• In 2015, 164 male and 49 female members of AIBA received training through programs funded by the Netherlands;
• At the end of 2015, 25 communities have been mobilized in Kunduz City and Aliabad district and are engaged in community-based trial monitoring to enhance the transparency of trials;
• Sixteen female students are currently enrolled in the Law Faculty of Kunduz University.
• Currently 350 police officers receive training at the police compound in Kunduz.

At the same time, it is worrisome to notice that the Taliban were able once again to attack Kunduz-city earlier this year. Although this Taliban attack did not succeed, this attack undermined the feeling of security for the local population. It also showed that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces still depend on the Afghan Special Forces and the Afghan Air Force. Continued support to strengthen the ANDSF is needed, which is one of the reasons why the Government of the Netherlands intends to continue to support the NATO mission Resolute Support and the NATO Afghan National Army Trust Fund.

The Netherlands remains committed to the future of Afghanistan and the development of rule of law in Kunduz.