US denies telling soldiers to ignore the raping of young Afghan boys, says Afghans must solve the problem

The government contradicts many concerns voiced from service members

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A problem so disturbing, the Taliban condemned it while still in power in Afghanistan.

The New York Times recently shed light on the raping of young boys by Afghan troops, who are allies to the US. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded to the new reports on Monday afternoon.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the safety and welfare of Afghan boys who may be exploited by members of the Afghan national security and defense forces,” he said.

Pentagon Spokesman Colonel Jeff Davis vehemently denied that there there was any policy instructing officers to ignore the practice commonly referred to as bacha bazi — the literal translation of “boy play.”

“I can just tell you that there is nothing that would preclude any military member from making reports about human rights violations to their chain of command,” he told the Times.

“Fundamentally an Afghan law enforcement matter, and those are reports that are given over to the Afghan government.”

However, both current and former service members have publicly expressed outrage and disgust against their own instructions. The Times reports that even if the violations are reported to Afghan authorities "there is little indication the Afghan government has the will or ability to prosecute men suspected of rape."

Colonel Brian Tribus previously told the outlet that there is "no express requirement that US military personnel in Afghanistan report it.”