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National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan
جنبش ملی اسلامی افغانستان
Leader Abdul Rashid Dostum
Founded March 1992
Ideology Uzbek interests
Turkmen interests
Political position Centre-left to Centre-right
Seats in the House of the People
3 / 249
Seats in the House of Elders
0 / 102
Party flag
Political parties

The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (Dari: جنبش ملی اسلامی افغانستان‎, Junbish-i-Milli Islami Afghanistan), sometimes called simply Junbish, is an Uzbek political party in Afghanistan. Its founder and leader is General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

It has been described as "an organisation heavily peopled with former Communists and Islamists,"[1] and is regarded as somewhat secular and left-leaning.[2] Its voter base is mostly Uzbeks, and it is strongest in Jowzjan, Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e Pol, and Samangan provinces.[2] The organization has been accused multiple times of human rights abuses.

History[edit | edit source]

Formation[edit | edit source]

Junbish and its military wing, Division 53 started as a “self-defense unit” for the Sheberghan oil fields in northern Afghanistan, growing to a platoon and then a company until it grew to a division of about 40,000 men by 1989. This division joined the Afghan government and was referred to as Division 53. In 1988 Junbushi forces replaced departing Soviet Union forces and took control of Kandahar as well as deploying to Khost, Logar, Ghazni, Gardez in Paktika and around Kabul.[3]:100

Many defecting mujaheddin commanders joined these units such as Rasul Pahlawan, Ghaffar Pahlawan who were both Uzbeks from Saripul. General Majid Rozi, an Afghan Arab Uzbek from Balkh and General Jura Beg and officer from Jowzjan also joined. Most of the joining members were either defectors or from the Parcham wing of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

Massoud and capture of Mazar-e Sharif (1992)[edit | edit source]

In 1992, as the Soviet Union withdrew aid from the government of Dr Najibullah, Dostum entered into negotiations with Ahmad Shah Massoud. When, on March 19, Najibbullah attempted to replace General Mumin, a Khalqi Pashtun who commanded the Hairatan garrison, Mumin revolved with Dostum’s support. Dostum, through this, took over control of Mazar-e Sharif.[3]:101 This resulted in widespread looting. At this point Junbish was the dominant party in Baghlan, Samangan, Balkh, Jauzjan, Sar-I Pul and Faryab.[3]:101

Battle of Kabul (1992-1994)[edit | edit source]

When the government of Najibullah collapsed in April 1992, Junbushi forces entered the city through the road near the airport and within a month held Tapa Maranjan, Bala Hisar, Kabul Airport, Old Microroian and Chaman Hozori, putting artillery in the first two of those positions. Furthermore, by controlling the airport they prevented the escape of Najibullah and forced him to take refuge in the United Nations compounds. Furthermore, through defectors from the previous government and his control of the airport, Dostum was able to control jet fighters for a significant portion of the battle of Kabul.

In May 1992 the command structure had General Majid Rozi as the overall military commander, General Hamayoon Fauzi in charge of political affairs, General Jura Beg in charge of troop deployments and rotations and General Aminullah Karim in charge of logistics. Rozi was recalled to Mazar towards the end of 1992 leaving Fauzi in charge. Other major leaders included Abdul Chiri who controlled a militia regiment, the 54th regiment.[3]:102 Control was mostly maintained from the Naqlia base which was on the road from Kart-I Nau and Shah Shahid.

In July 1992, Dostum sent a petition to Ahmad Shah Massoud in order to establish a general headquarters to manage and control forces in the area. Despite Massoud rejecting this Dostum created it,[Clarification needed] creating tensions as a result.

Alliance with Hezbe Islam and defeat in Kabul (1994)[edit | edit source]

After increased tensions with Jamiat, Junbishi attempted to ally themselves with Hezb-e Islam in January 1994. However, this betrayal resulted in Junbushi being forced from most of their strongholds in Kabul. Between January and June 1994 some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place, with up to 25,000 people being killed.

Capture of Mazar-e Sharif and expansion in the North[edit | edit source]

The loss in Kabul was countered by the removal of Jamiat forces in Northern Afghanistan. After heavy fighting in Mazar, Jamiat was pushed out although large amounts of reports regarding rape and extrajudicial execution exist regarding this battle.[3]:106 After the capture of Mazar, Dostum concentrated his efforts on strengthening his position in the north.

Defection of General Abdul Malik Pahlawan (1997)[edit | edit source]

In 1996 Rasul Pahlawan was assassinated in June by his bodyguard, allegedly at Dostum’s orders.[3]:107 In 1997, a group of Junbushi milia associated with Rasul’s brother defected under the leadership of General Abdul Malik Pahlawan. Malik joined the Taliban and forced Dostum out of the country for 4 months, where he fled to Turkey. However Malik quickly betrayed the Taliban, massacring thousands of Taliban prisoners before being ousted in Taliban bombardment in September 1997. During this time, large amounts of rape and looting were reported, although it is not clear as to what extent this was done by Junbushi.

Following this Dostum returned to Afghanistan and ousted Malik during a conflict in Faryab. Most of Malik’s forces then defected and rejoined Junbish under Dostum. Forces of Dostum were said to have looted many Pashtoons in Faryab province following this.[citation needed] Dostum was even further weakened however as the road from Herat to Maimana was taken by the Taliban in July 1998, and then Mazar-e Sharif in August.[citation needed]

Fall of the Taliban (2001)[edit | edit source]

Dostum and Junbushi were particularly instrumental in the fall of the Taliban in 2001 under the Northern Alliance.

Human rights abuses[edit | edit source]

Junbushi was particularly involved in human rights abuses, particularly in Northern Afghanistan from 1992–2001 and the area around Kabul during the battle of Kabul. Their predisposition to looting areas under control earned them the nickname Gilam Jam which means the "carpet is gathered up."[3]:100 Areas under Junbushi control, such as Naqlia base, were frequently cited as suffering serious human rights abuses, including rape, murder and looting.[3]:103 Areas such as Shah Shahid and Kārte Naw faced similar problems.[3]:104 In July 2016 Human Rights Watch accused the militia of killing, abusing and looting civilians in Faryab Province during June, accusing them of supporting the Taliban.[4]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Anthony Davis, The Battlegrounds of Northern Afghanistan, Jane's Intelligence Review, July 1994
  2. 2.0 2.1 Katzman, Kenneth (23 October 2013). Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy (Report). Congressional Research Service. p. 79. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL30588.pdf. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Open Society Institute (OSI), Casting Shadows: War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: 1978-2001, 2005, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/46725c962.html [accessed 24 November 2012]
  4. July 31, 2016 12:00AM EDT, Afghanistan: Forces Linked to Vice President Terrorize Villagers, Prosecute Militia Members for Killings,https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/31/afghanistan-forces-linked-vice-president-terrorize-villagers

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Official website

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