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REUTERS
July 22, 2018
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Dostum returns Afghanistan today

National

REUTERS
July 22, 2018

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KABUL: Afghanistan´s Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum, who left the country last year amid allegations of sexual abuse and torture, will return home on Sunday after more than a year in exile and resume his duties, officials said.

Government spokesman Haroon Chakansuri confirmed on Saturday that Dostum would return home on a chartered aircraft on Sunday and would be given an official reception.

Accusations against him would be handled independently by the courts, he said.

“Legal issues are a matter for judicial authorities,” the spokesman told a news conference in Kabul.

The return of Dostum followed days of sometimes violent protests by supporters in northern Afghanistan over the arrest of a militia commander loyal to him.

Officials said that negotiations for the return have been going on for weeks.

Chakansuri also said the commander, Nizamuddin Qaisari, who was arrested after a violent dispute with security officials in the northern province of Faryab, would stay in prison pending an investigation, while other militia commanders accused of abuses would be pursued.

Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek veteran of decades of Afghanistan´s bloody politics, faced outrage from Western donor countries including the United States after reports in 2016 that his guards had seized Ahmad Eshchi, a political rival and subjected him to beatings, torture and violent sexual abuse.

He denied Eshchi´s accusations but amid international demands that he be held accountable, he left the country in May last year, ostensibly to seek medical treatment in Turkey and has not returned since.

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