Encyclopedia > Afghanistan timeline January 1-16, 2002

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Afghanistan timeline January 1-16, 2002

Afghanistan timeline

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January 16, 2002

  • A U.S. congressional delegation met with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, promising American involvement in the country would not end with the winding down of the conflict. The delegation included senators Bob Smith, Byron Dorgan, Mark Dayton, Richard Durbin, and representative Ellen Tauscher. Their pledge was contrasted by representative Tom Lantos[?], a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, who said to an audience in Tokyo that the United States should not take the lead in rebuilding Afghanistan.
  • John Walker Lindh was charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals overseas and with supporting al-Qaeda.
  • The U.N. Security Council adopted sanctions against Osama bin Laden, Taliban and al-Qaida members, requiring all nations to impose arms embargoes and freeze their finances.
  • Afghanistan banned the cultivation of opium poppy and trafficking in opium and all its derivatives, including heroin.
  • Kabul's airport reopened for military and humanitarian aircraft with a symbolic test flight of Afghanistan's only working commercial airliner, a Boeing 727 belonging to the national carrier, Ariana Afghan Airlines.

January 15, 2002

January 14, 2002

  • The Iran-Afghanistan Joint Economic Cooperation and Friendship Association was established in Mashhad[?], and immediately began welcoming bids for implementation of projects in the fields of industry, agriculture, roads, telecommunications and attraction of domestic and foreign investment.
  • Iran allocated a 20 billion rial[?] (around U.S. $2.5 million) budget for construction of a bridge over Parain River[?] on Iran-Afghanistan border.
  • A cache of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades were discovered by U.S. forces in buildings and tunnels about 300 yards from the perimeter of the U.S. base at Kandahar airport.
  • Pakistan reopened its embassy in Kabul.
  • U.S. warplanes continued to bomb the Zhawar[?] area in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.
  • The United Nations announced that Afghanistan's new interim administration could fail if foreign donors did not come up with $100 million within days to help pay its 210,000 civil servants and 25,000 police.
  • U.S. warplanes pounded cave complexes in the Zhawar[?] area, 20 miles southwest of Khost[?], Afghanistan.
  • 300 U.S. troops, backed by helicopters, arrived in Ghazni[?] town, 80 miles southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan.

January 13, 2002

  • Tajikistan President Omali Rakhmonov[?] said that the United Nations should play a major role in Afghanistan, and that the top priority was to provide humanitarian aid.
  • Another 30 detainees, shackled and with white caps covering their faces, departed by C-17[?] for Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. U.S. troops flanked the detainees as they walked across the tarmac to the aircraft. Nearly all the lights at the U.S. base at the Kandahar airport were shut off.
  • U.S. senator Joe Biden said that Afghanistan would need between $10 billion and $15 billion in international aid over the next five to ten years after an immediate injection of $30-40 million to set up their government.

January 12, 2002

January 11, 2002

January 10, 2002

January 9, 2002

January 8, 2002

  • About 200 U.S. marines arrived in Khost[?] after elders of four tribes decided that they could not hand over a fugitive 14-year-old boy suspected of killing Nathan Ross Chapman[?], a U.S. soldier.
  • Three ministers of the ousted Taliban, who were holed up in a hospital in Kandahar, surrendered to authorities. They were former minister of defense Mullah Obaidullah[?], minister of justice Mullah Nooruddin Turabi[?] and minister of mines and industry, Mullah Saadudin[?]. Abu Bakhar, from Sudan, died trying to escape. Turabi was soon released by Kandahar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai[?].
  • U.S. jets dropped pamphlets over eastern Afghanistan warning people not to shelter members of the Taliban and al Qaeda network or risk being bombed.
  • Poland informed the United States that a contingent of 300 Polish soldiers was ready for deployment in anti-terrorism operations in the Afghanistan. The contigent consisted of 80 special forces troops, 60 logistical support staff, 40 de-mining experts, 45 anti-biological and chemical attack troops, and a naval support ship.
  • Romania announcedthat it would send 48 troops and a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to Afghanistan by the end of January.

January 7, 2002

  • Food coupons were distributed by the World Food Program in Herat, targeting 78% of the population. The coupons enabled qualifying heads of households to receive one 50 kg bag of wheat, about one month's ration.
  • About 1,000 troops, many of them military police, from bases all over the United States received orders to go to the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners would soon arrive to be held under maximum security. Another 500 U.S. troops will be sent to the base in the coming weeks.
  • U.S. warplanes attacked a cave complex near the Pakistan border. U.S. airstrikes also focused on areas of Afghanistan's eastern Paktia province[?].
  • A United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sponsored conference brought together Afghan professionals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and academics in Tehran, Iran[?]. They discussed the requirements for recovery in Afghanistan. Working in three groups, the 60 to 70 participants arrived at recommendations to be forwarded to the Afghan reconstruction conference to be held in Tokyo later this month. To date, The UN estimated there were about 2.3 million Afghans living in Iran.
  • India announced it was in favor of extending the Most Favored Nation[?] status to Afghanistan. It was stated that if Afghanistan wanted to join the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation[?] (SAARC) and eventually met the criteria in that context, India would support Afghanistan's candidature. India extended a $100M line of credit to Afghanistan, and announced plans to establish six schools (including a information technology institute) and six polyclinics in different cities of Afghanistan in over the coming months. India also said it would offer scholarships and also help revive the Kabul University[?].
  • Mohsen Aminzadeh[?], Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Asia-Pacific Affairs, said that establishment of a durable peace and security in the region depended on the reconstruction of the Afghanistan. He added that Iran was ready to help reconstruct Afghanistan in such areas as road building, railroad construction, dams building, power plants and different industrial factories, establishment of telecommunication system and electricity networks, construction of hospitals and health centers.
  • Ahmed Idrees Rahmani[?], the International Rescue Committee's acting northern Afghanistan coordinator, identified many humanitarian crises. To date, hundreds of thousands of Afghanis were living in desperate conditions in the mountain regions along the former front lines between the Taliban and the northern alliance. Many shared the same troubles with natural and manmade disasters. To date, people living in these remote areas were completely dependent on rain for irrigation. Thousands of bags of wheat flour meant to save the people of Abdullah Gan sat stacked in a compound in the small town of Zari[?], four and a half hours away by donkey along mountain trails. The Aid workers found out only because residents told them and rushed to the area to try to figure out the logistics of distribution. The wheat is improperly stored. If it rains or snows, much will be damaged.
  • A delegation of nine U.S. senators met with Afghanistan's new interim prime minister, Hamid Karzai, vowing to participate in the country's long-term reconstruction. In an airport hangar, they discussed the continued threat posed al-Qaida and the Taliban, and reconstruction of the country's infrastructure. The senators, who were also visiting Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Oman, Turkey and possibly India, included Joseph Lieberman, John McCain, Fred Thompson[?], Chuck Hagel[?], Jack Reed[?], Susan Collins[?], Jean Carnahan[?], John Edwards, and Bill Nelson[?]. Afghan officials included Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim[?], Foreign Minister Abdullah and Women's Affairs Minister Sima Samar[?]. The layover lasted three hours, and then the senators continued their flight.
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew from Pakistan into Bagram[?] to meet Afghanistan's interim leader, Hamid Karzai. Blair and his wife were welcomed by several hundred of troops from Great Britain and the United States. As they headed off for a meeting held in a hangar at the airport, they crossed paths with the delegation of US senators who arrived earlier for talks. Blair stayed for a few hours and then flew out. The meeting in the hangar and the night flying reflected the inability to insure complete security.

January 6, 2002

January 5, 2002

  • U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command, announced that forces had searched seven cave complexes in the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan where some believed Osama bin Laden had been hiding. Franks said a substantial number of bodies were found in the caves, as well as a tank and other weapons. U.S. forensic experts were examining the corpses to try to determine if any of those killed were al-Qaida leaders.
  • U.S. examinations of more than 40 sites in Afghanistan suspected of involvement in developing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons turned up evidence indicating "the interest and desire by al-Qaida to acquire weapons of mass destruction," but there was no evidence the terrorists succeeded in their pursuits.
  • U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks said he was working with the government of Kyrgyzstan on arrangements for using a military base there as a transport hub for U.S. aircraft involved in the Afghanistan war.
  • Pakistan announced it had decided to deport the former ambassador of Afghanistan's Taliban movement, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef[?], back to his country.

January 4, 2002

January 3, 2002

  • Afghan officials threatened to launch a major operation involving up to 5,000 soldiers backed by US Marines to flush Mullah Omar out if negotiation talks failed.
  • The 24 officers arrived before dawn at Kabul airport and were taken to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in the centre of Kabul. The officers (nine from Germany, one from the Netherlands, one from Denmark, one from Austria, two from France, two from Greece, two from Italy, one from Norway, one from Romania, two from Spain, one from Finland and one from Sweden) were all reconnaissance experts. Their mission was to survey five sites identified as bases for the 4,500-strong UN-mandated multinational force.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was starting to return international staff members to Kabul. WHO and other international organizations evacuated their staffs from Afghanistan in September, 2001 when security concerns began to increase. More than 90% of the staff was expected to return to Kabul within one month.
  • 15 French soldiers arrived at Bagram air base[?] north of Kabul. The personnel, mainly engineers, were sent to prepare the way for the main French deployment to the force.
  • In Islamabad, Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef[?], the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, was taken from his residence for questioning by Pakistani security officials. Previous to this, Zaeef had applied for political asylum in Pakistan.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a Pentagon briefing that the focus of the Afghan war was now on pursuing those the Taliban harbored.
  • Japan announced plans to launch a money-for-weapons aid project in Afghanistan that will help build social infrastructure. Plans were also announced to extend 1.2 billion yen worth of grants-in-aid via the project, which will be funded by the fiscal 2002 budget. Japan had previously participated in a weapons-for-development project in Cambodia with the European Union. It has also supported a project to promote employment of former soldiers in Tajikistan.
  • Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai said he was worried about the mounting civilian casualties. "We want to finish terrorists in Afghanistan -- we want to finish them completely," he said. "But we must also make sure our civilians do not suffer."
  • The United Nations initiated the daunting task of clearing an estimated 25,000 unexploded cluster bomb (CBU) dropped on Afghanistan by US warplanes. The move comes after coalition forces provided the United Nations Mine Action Program (MAPA[?]) with a list of 103 sites where cluster bombs were used. 78 of the sites were struck by a total of 1,210 CBUs, equalling a total of 244,420 sub-munitons.
  • Some 200 U.S. Marines discovered an al Qaeda compound, in Helmand[?], north of Kandahar, that had been used in recent weeks but provided little new information about Osama bin Laden's network.
January 2, 2002
  • Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, was named charge d'affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
  • Hundreds of U.S. airborne troops began replacing Marines in southern Afghanistan as US forces pressed the hunt for Taliban and al Qaeda leaders.
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that 3,000 Afghans arrived in southern Pakistan's Chaman border crossing. The refugees claimed they returned to Pakistan due to economic hardship caused by draught and lack of aid in their native Afghanistan. Due to the vast influx of refugees, a majority were not allowed entrance. A nearby refugee camp, run by the United Arab Emirates was undergoing construction and but could not yet accommodate their needs. According to Erik Lars[?], the head of UNHCR's operations in Chaman, the refugees carried with them large amounts of personal belongings which implied that they were not fleeing fighting.
  • The Governor of Kandahar, Gul Agha Sherzai[?], warned the former Governor of Herat, Tooran Ismail Khan[?], to take appropriate measures for ensuring safe travel of traders and other people in the area. Sherzai expressed his dismay over the loot and killing of many Afghan traders and other travellers between Herat[?] and Kandahar province[?] and sent a delegation to Herat for registering his protest over such incidents to resolve the matter.
  • In Kandahar, anti-Taliban forces led by intelligence chief Haji Gullalai[?] continued talks to try to capture cleric Mullah Mohammad Omar without bloodshed. Omar was believed to have taken refuge with 1,500 fighters near the town of Baghran[?] in southern Helmand[?].
  • Taliban intelligence chief Qari Ahmadullah was killed along with up to 50 of his men in a US bombing raid on the Katawaz district in Ghazni.

January 1, 2002

  • Thousands of mothers in Kabul brought their children to 200 vaccination centers at mosques and hospitals to be immunised against the measles. This was the first stage of a project that planned on covering the whole nation by March 2002. The $8.2 million project aimed to vaccinate 1.2 million children between six months and 12 years old in Kabul before expanding to the rest of Afghanistan.
  • Some 200 US Marines based at Kandahar airport launched an operation against a large compound in neighboring Helmand province[?] to gather intelligence on the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
  • US Marines based in Kandahar set off in helicopters to Mullah Omar's supposed new base in Baghran[?]. Recent reports suggested that Omar and his armed followers were holed up in high-ground, northwest of his former Kandahar headquarters in Helmand province[?].
  • The United Nations announced that no U.S. cluster bombs[?] seem to have been used within the confines of Kabul. However, there were four confirmed cluster-bomb sites a road north of Kabul. The number of unexploded bomblets was less than expected, and Halo Trust[?], a nongovernmental organisation working for MAPA[?], had almost finished clearing these sites. MAPA had almost finished clearing Kabul of new UXO.
  • George W. Bush, speaking near his ranch in Crawford, Texas, said: "Bin Laden is on the run, and any time you get a person running, it means you're going to get him pretty soon... It's just a matter of time."



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