The Afghan government has pushed back the Dec. 17 deadline of disbanding private security firms in the Islamic nation.
The ban on private security firms has prompted some U.S. development firms to start canceling reconstruction projects.
>> US Development Contractors Halt Afghan Projects Due to Security Row
The Afghan government said Wednesday (Oct. 27) it will create a committee that will prepare a timetable for the phasing out of private security firms that render services to development projects. The committee, which will be led by Afghanistan’s interior minister and include representatives from NATO, the International Security Assistance Force and major international donors, is expected to hand in the timetable by Nov. 15.
“Once approved, 90 days max will be given to each organization before [the] designated dissolution date. Following the completion of [the] plan’s implementation, the government of Afghanistan will assume responsibility for providing necessary security for development and reconstruction projects,” the Afghan government said in a written statement, CNN reports.
The U.S. has welcomed the new time frame for the ban, The Washington Post reports.
“We welcome the government’s announcement of a new committee under the ministry of interior to develop an implementation plan for President Karzai’s approval,” U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry said in a statement.
Some diplomats and development authorities said the new timeline only deferred rather than resolve the problem.
“They’ve just given themselves another two months to cobble together some sort of compromise,” one official at a development firm that works in Afghanistan was quoted by The Washington Post as saying. “It doesn’t solve the fundamental issue and the issue of principle, which is the need to provide the maximum possible security and safety for your employees on the ground.”