Student Protests in East Afghanistan Condemn Effort to Extend US Occupation

Announcement of Loya Jirga Decision Met With Scorn

Around 1,000 student protesters took to the streets of Nangarhar Province today, condemning the Loya Jirga announcement that they have endorsed a deal that would keep US occupation forces in the country through 2024.

The protesters marched on the provincial capital, gathering to burn an effigy of President Obama and shouting “death to America.” One of the protesters said they would take to the streets every day if the pact was signed.

The protesters included a large contingent of demonstrators from Nangarhar University, and police say there was no violence during the rally.

Even before the Loya Jirga was held, officials were touting (or in some cases criticizing) its use as a way to rubber stamp a plan to keep US troops in the country in a more or less open-ended manner. Though the jirga sought to extend the condition that President Obama end all US night raids against civilian homes, the Pentagon has already said they don’t intend to do anything of the sort, and it is not expected to actually be an obstacle to finalizing the deal.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.