News - Afghanistan
Afghanistan's substitute for all private security firms - the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) - is ready to provide security for the Nato military bases throughout the country, APPF Deputy Minister Mujtaba Patang said Thursday.
Patang said at a briefing in Kabul that a further 37 private firms remained to be dissolved and replaced with the APPF personnel, with all responsibilities and weapons to be transferred to government-backed security firm. He assured the security of the Nato bases after the process is complete.
Patang said that the APPF personnel are guaranteed by their tribal leaders and provincial council members and that there is no enemy infiltration within these forces, a reference to the recent spate of deadly shootings of Isaf troops by Afghan security forces.
"Our main job is guarding the national and international facilities. It's an important step to dissolve tens of private security companies," Patang said, dismissing concerns that the dissolution of private security companies was feeding the expansion of insecurity in the country.
The APPF currently has 30,000 personnel, a number expected to rise to 100,000 after 2014.
Nato has supported the move towards a public security force staffed by Afghans, saying that its effectiveness lies in the security guards level of training and accountability.
At Thursday's briefing in Kabul, a Nato official reiterated the organisation's support and said that the force is preparing to protect the Nato bases.
"They have not only been trained to satisfy the needs of private companies but they have also gone through the on job training which explains the day to day guarding of the bases, the Forward Operation Bases (FOBs) and the convoys," Director of the APPF Advisory Group Brig. Gen. Cedric Wins said.
The move for private security firms to be replaced by the APPF began two years ago. It is overseen by the Afghan Ministry of Interior.