The UN human rights office has criticised the Afghan government for its “staggeringly inadequate” standards of military grooming and military health, as well as failing to ensure that military personnel receive proper medical care.
“Despite assurances that military grooming is in line with international human rights standards, and that military health and fitness training is fully accredited, the Afghan National Army has yet to ensure adequate medical care for soldiers and their families,” HRW said in a statement on Wednesday.
It said the Afghan Ministry of Defence failed to provide basic medical facilities and equipment, and failed to train Afghan doctors to treat soldiers, and had also failed to take care of soldiers who were exposed to toxic and dangerous chemicals.
It also alleged that some military medical facilities were not fully equipped and that some facilities were overcrowded.
The UN report said that in April 2016, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) received a report from an Afghan medical team that a number of Afghan soldiers had been exposed to the toxic and carcinogenic Agent Orange, which is banned by the international community, during their training in Afghanistan.
The report also alleged there was evidence that some of the soldiers had exposed themselves to toxic chemicals and other potentially hazardous substances. “
It was unclear what the extent of exposure was and whether there were further exposure cases or if any had returned to the country, but the military leadership failed to ensure the protection of soldiers from exposure to this toxic substance.”
The report also alleged there was evidence that some of the soldiers had exposed themselves to toxic chemicals and other potentially hazardous substances.
The Afghan military has consistently denied any wrongdoing and said it has always been committed to the highest standards of medical care and hygiene.
The report said the military did not have a policy in place to provide health care to soldiers during military training, and said that many soldiers did not go to their medical providers.
“While many Afghan medical facilities have been improved since the war ended in 2014, health care in the country is still lacking,” it said.
HRW added that the Afghan army had “failed to protect Afghan soldiers from toxic chemicals”, and also accused the Afghan medical teams of not following basic training standards.
According to the report, the Ministry of Defense did not conduct any systematic investigations into the health of Afghan military personnel and instead relied on reports from local health workers and military doctors.
However, the ministry denied the allegations, saying the Afghan military medical team was “following standard medical protocols”.
HRW called on the Afghan president to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the military’s poor medical care, which has contributed to a significant rise in the number of deaths in Afghanistan due to the virus, including one soldier who died from the coronavirus in December 2017.
Afghanistan is in the midst of a major offensive against the Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked fighters, who are occupying vast swathes of the country.
It is one of the world’s most dangerous countries to be a civilian in.
In March, the Taliban launched an attack on the parliament building in Kabul, killing nearly 100 people, including a number members of the parliament.
Earlier in March, an attack in the city of Jalalabad killed nearly 60 people, and in March a suicide bomber killed more than 40 people.