Encyclopedia > Afghanistan timeline January 17-31, 2002

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Afghanistan timeline January 17-31, 2002

Afghanistan timeline

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January 31, 2002

  • During Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai's visit to London, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Britain could not commit more troops to an expanded international force requested by Afghanistan, and that he wanted to end Britain's command of the 17-nation mission by the end of April. Britain's command lasted until June.
  • Two days of bloody fighting ended in Gardez, as governor Padsha Khan[?] tried to take up his post through force after rival warlord Saif Ullah[?] refused to hand over power. Some 50 people, including about 20 civilians, were killed in the fierce exchange of mortars, rockets and machinegun fire. Khan's troops were forced to retreat.
  • During Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai's one-day visit to the U.K., Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Britain could not commit more troops to an expanded international force in Afghanistan. To date, Britain was leading the force, deployed in Kabul, but wanted to end its command of the 17-nation mission by the end of April.
  • In an e-mail sent to news organizations, kidnappers of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl extended the deadline by one day for the United States to meet their demands, which included the release of Pakistani detainees captured in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush met in the White House with German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. They discussed the global economy and the war on terrorism. Bush thanked Schröder for sending German peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan and for offering to help develop a new Afghan police force. Following their Oval Office meeting, Schröder said it was crucial for Afghanistan to develop its own police and military to maintain security once international peacekeepers leave.
  • In Pakistan, fire broke out in some tarpaulin tents in Ashgoor[?] refugee camp in which two children were killed and eighteen others injured seriously. Twelve tents were also destroyed in another incident in Balochistan refugee camp in which three peopledied. Two children also received burns. Arson was suspected for both fires.
  • Afghanistan was one of twenty countries barred from voting in the U.N. General Assembly in 2002 because they have fallen too far behind in their dues.

January 30, 2002

January 29, 2002

January 28, 2002

  • Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai visited the White House to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush. After their meeting, President Bush announced an initial $50 million line of credit to finance private-sector reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. President Bush said the United States will help Afghanistan create an army, but that he has no intention of allowing U.S. troops to join International peacekeeping operations.
  • Afghan leader Hamid Karzai raised Afghanistan's new flag over at Kabul embassy in Washington, DC. The flag reflects the former black, red and green flag approved by the 1964 constitution as its national emblem. In the early 1990s, the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani changed the flag to green, white and black, while the Taliban used a white flag after taking power in 1996.
  • A team of World Bank and International Monetary Fund experts began talks with Afghan officials in Kabul on ways to help revive the shattered economy of Afghanistan. Alistair McKechnie[?] was the World Bank's country director for Afghanistan. Abdul Qadeer Fitrat[?] was the governor of Afghanistan's Central Bank.
  • in Kabul, Warren Coats[?], the assistant director for monetary and exchange affairs of the International Monetary Fund said the IMF might advise Afghanistan to temporarily use the U.S. dollar instead of its afghani, the volatile, often-faked currency. Until January 2002, Afghanistan had less than $150,000 of reserves.
  • 370 refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, were on hunger strike at Woomera, Australia. Dozens had sewn their lips together. They were demanding that the government speed up their asylum claims and move them out of Woomera.
  • U.S. and Afghan troops surrounded Kandahar's Mir Wais Hospital before dawn and traded fire with fighters inside for hours. The troops eventually hurled grenades through the hospital windows to launch a final assault, killing all six of the fighters.
  • Fourteen soldiers from the U.S. 101st Airborne Division were injured in a crash of an Army CH-47 Chinook near Khost[?], Afghanistan. Ten aboard escaped injury.
  • Five U.S. soldiers were injured when they were hit by a forklift.

January 27, 2002

January 26, 2002

  • The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks, met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad. The U.S. general told General Musharraf there were no plans to move U.S. troops from Pakistan. General Franks said the priority now is to prevent new acts of terrorism.
  • Afghan villagers challenged U.S. accounts of a firefight, claiming U.S. Special Forces soldiers killed the wrong people during a raid. They said the victims were neither Taliban nor al-Qaida fighters but Afghans sent by a pro-government official who successfully negotiated the surrender of weapons from Taliban renegades and decided to spend the night in an Islamic school afterward.
  • The Washington Times reported that White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez[?] wrote in a memo to President George W. Bush that said Colin Powell requested that the President reconsider his decision not to call the Guantanamo Bay detainees prisoners of war.
  • On a three-day visit to Afghanistan, Andrew Natsios[?], the head of the U.S. government's aid agency U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), said that Afghanistan's destruction was the worst he had seen in more than a decade of service covering scores of civil wars. The purpose of his visit was to review U.S aid projects and toured areas that have been hardest hit by over two decades of conflict, including a 10-year Soviet occupation. Natsio was to assess how the United States should apportion the $296 million it pledged earlier that week.
  • Only weeks after the World Society for the Protection of Animals[?] arrived in Kabul, Marjan[?], the 48-year old lion who survived years of conflict and ill-treatment in Afghanistan, died at the Kabul zoo. Marjan was a gift from Germany in 1964, and later became something of a symbol of survival against the odds.

January 25, 2002

  • A delegation of 20 members of the U.S. Congress travelled to the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to inspect conditions at the detention camp housing 158 prisoners from Afghanistan.
  • U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan made a brief visit to Afghanistan. He was the first UN chief to travel here since 1959. During his visit, Annan announced, as dictated by the Bonn accord on a political future for the country, the formation of a special 21-member commission (which included one woman) to organise a loya jirga, which would in turn name a transitional authority to rule ahead of elections within two years. Annan then flew on to Tehran for two days of meetings with Iranian leaders on the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
  • Afghan deputy defense minister Abdul Rashid Dostam promised there would be no more ethnic fighting in Afghanistan. He also said he was unwilling to disarm before he received guarantees on his and his troops' security.
  • The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks, made a brief visit to Kabul. He met Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim[?] to discuss security problems. To date, a force of about 1,000 international soldiers were in Kabul under British command and another 3,500 were on the way.
  • In Washington, DC, Abdullah Abdullah had talks with Donald Rumsfeld,Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice. The talks centered primarily on how to secure peace throughout Afghanistan.

January 24, 2002

  • During his trip to Washington, DC, Afghanistan's new interim foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, warned Pakistan and Iran against interfering in his country's affairs. He added that he would like more international peacekeepers spread around the nation.
  • After visiting the Great Wall of China, interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Days earlier, in a summit in Japan, China offered to $1 million for rebuilding Afghanistan and $3.6 million in humanitarian aid. Karzai promised to work with China in containing separatists in Xinjiang.
  • During a "search-and-destroy" mission by U.S. special forces, up to 15 al Qaeda fighters died and a U.S. soldier was wounded in a pre-dawn firefight 40 miles north of Kandahar.
  • John Walker Lindh appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Weldon Sewell[?] in the district court in suburban Alexandria, Virginia, on charges of conspiring to kill US nationals and supporting terrorist groups.
  • A U.S. raid on Hazar Qadam[?] resulted in as many as 15 mostly Afghan fighters being killed and 27 others captured. An AC-130[?] gunship destroyed a major arms cache including mortars, rockets and more than half a million small-arms rounds at the site. Villagers, however, claimed U.S. forces bombed their town hall and clinic, and killed and arrested men loyal to Afghanistan's U.S.-backed Hamid Karzai. The spokesman for Kandahar Gov. Gul Agha[?] said those captured in the raid included the district police chief, his deputy and members of the district council. A week later, U.S. security sources said they had been deliberately misled by tribal factions. Earlier that month, U.S. forces mistakenly arrested an entire family and their servants from the Khorot[?] tribe on suspicion of being Taliban members on the basis of information supplied by Khorot rivals in the Waziri[?] tribe across the border in Pakistan.
  • U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States had nothing to apologize for in its treatment of the Afghan detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
  • U.S. special forces raided two suspected al-Qaeda compounds in southern Kandahar, killing more than a dozen people and capturing 27. One U.S. commando was lightly wounded.
  • U.S. warplanes heavily bombed a suspected al-Qaeda base Khost province[?], Afghanistan.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. ground troops would remain in Afghanistan at least into that summer, to continue their manhunt, to attack any Taliban and al-Qaida resistance and to help Afghanistan's transition to a more permanent government. To date, the United States had about 4,000 troops in Afghanistan and many hundreds more in neighboring Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Smaller numbers were in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and thousands were aboard Navy ships patrolling the Arabian Sea.
  • In Kandahar, the local governor, Gul Agha[?], accused Iran of sending vehicles and weapons into Afghanistan to undermine the new interim government of Hamid Karzai. At the time, Iran was allied with warlord Ismail Khan. Agha denied claims that he had sent fighters toward Herat, Khan's stronghold, in western Afghanistan. U.N. Deputy Special Envoy Francesc Vendrell[?] said he found no evidence of Iranian interference in Afghanistan; moreover, he hailed Iran's commitment to Afghan reconstruction.
  • Ariana Afghan Airlines made its first international flight in nearly 2 1/2 years, its lone Boeing 727 taking off from Kabul to New Delhi.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department unblocked $193 million in gold and $24 million in other assets of the Afghan Central Bank[?]. Those assets had been frozen since 1999 to keep them out of the hands of the Taliban regime.

January 23, 2002

January 22, 2002

January 21, 2002

  • Interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai was in Japan seeking assistance for Afghanistan from sixty donor nations. Nations pledged $4.5 billion over five years, of which the four conference co-hosts (Japan, the United States, the European Union and Saudi Arabia) were expected to share the bulk of the financial burden. The United States promised a first-year installment of $296 million. Great Britain pledged 200 million pounds (US$288 million) over the next five years, and Saudi Arabia pledged $220 million over three years. The United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank estimated that reconstruction would require $15 billion over a decade with $5 billion needed in the critical first 30 months and $10 billion in the first five years. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell attended the opening session. Singapore offered a special five-year technical assistance package, specifically for the purpose of training nurses and teachers of special education. India pledged US$100 million in assistance for the reconstruction.
  • Two U.S. special forces soldiers in a Humvee were on patrol near the city of Herat when the vehicle rolled over. One soldier broke several ribs and may have injured his spinal cord, while the other was just shaken up. Both were airlifted to Bagram[?] for medical treatment.
  • Pakistan announced that it would not extend a transit facility for Indian wheat bound for Afghanistan through Pakistan, on the grounds that it was infested and could harm Pakistani wheat. India refuted Pakistan's claim and requested that the World Food Program inspect the wheat.
  • Kumar Periasamy[?], a Singaporean staff member of Operation Blessing International (OPI) returned to Singapore after a 2-week mission there. He announced that the organization wanted to send a team of medical professionals to Kabul in March, and was looking for local volunteers. OPI's focus was on distributing food rations to 13 villages and more than 500 widows, many of whom walked miles to collect the food. OPI also distributed textbooks to Kabul's first co-ed school.
  • The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana[?], said the detainees at Guantanamo Bay should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross said the United States might have violated the Geneva Convention by releasing photographs of al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. The pictures showed them kneeling with their arms manacled and wearing large black goggles and ear cups. The Third Geneva Convention on prisoners of war forbade the exposing of captives "to public curiosity.
  • A single rocket-propelled grenade was fired at two military vehicles traveling from Kabul to Gardez.

January 20, 2002

  • A U.S. Marine CH-53[?]-E Super Stallion helicopter crashed about 60 kilometres (38 miles) south of Bagram[?], Afghanistan, killing two, injuring five.
  • International aid agencies and Afghanistan's interim government launched a massive effort to save the lives of at least 700,000 people most at risk from starvation and exposure.
  • Just north of Kabul, two U.S. Army soldiers suffered cuts and bruises when a tire on their sport utility vehicle blew out.

January 19, 2002

January 18, 2002

January 17, 2002

  • A third group of prisoners from Afghanistan arrived at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Kabul to meet with the head of the Afghan interim authority, Hamid Karzai. Powell referred to Afghanistan as a "start-up country." For security reasosns, Powell's visit was not announced until after he arrived, and his visit lasted only five hours. He then flew on to India.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he could not predict how long detainees would be kept at Guantanamo Bay. He suggested that some might be tried before a special U.S. military tribunal, others in U.S. civilian courts and still others might be sent back to their home countries for prosecution.

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