Afghanistan appoints new security ministers

President Ashraf Ghani
Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan
President Ashraf Ghani
Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reshuffled important security posts on Friday with the aim of “improving” the security situation in the country, according to a statement by the country’s Office of the National Security Council.

According to the statement, Yasin Zia, the country’s current Army Chief of staff, was appointed as the acting Minister of Defence.

“The purpose of the new appointments was to improve the security situation and bring necessary reforms in the leadership of the security departments and better accomplish the self-sufficiency programme for security institutions until 2024.’’

“Zia would work as the head of the ministry until the return of Minister Asadullah Khalid, who is under treatment for an illness.

Zia has previously worked in a number of high-profile posts. He has served as deputy of the secret service NDS and as governor of the northern province of Takhar, among others.’’

In a separate statement by the National Security Council on Friday, Hayatullah Hayat was appointed as interior minister.

Hayat was previously working as the governor of Nangarhar, Wardak and Helmand, and recently he worked as the governor of southern Kandahar province.

He replaced Masoud Andarabi, who has been serving as head of the Interior Ministry since December 2015.

Ayoub Salangi was introduced as a deputy in the Interior Ministry, the statement said. Salangi is a former military officer who had already served in the Interior Ministry under former president Hamid Karzai.

The replacements come as in recent months the security situation has deteriorated.

Particularly, Kabul city has witnessed almost daily security incidents with home-made magnetic bombs and targeted killings of civil activists and journalists.

Amid the new exchanges, on Thursday, a summit in the Russian capital Moscow called upon both sides of the Afghan conflict to reduce violence.

The summit specifically asked the Taliban not to launch a spring offensive in order to prevent casualties as well as create an environment conducive to a political settlement.

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