Afghan government accused of failing to protect lucrative mining sector from graft, conflict

Industrials Associated Press

Two anti-corruption organizations are accusing Afghanistan's government of failing to take action to protect its vital mining sector from graft and conflict.

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Global Witness and Integrity Watch Afghanistan said Sunday that President Ashraf Ghani's administration missed the opportunity of a meeting of donors in Kabul to outline measures for protecting and developing its $1 trillion worth of mineral assets.

Mining is one of the few avenues for developing a self-sustaining economy in Afghanistan and ending the country's reliance on international aid.

Ikran Afzali, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, says the Senior Officials Meeting "has not produced a single commitment to action ... to counter the threat of conflict and corruption around the extractives industries."

Afghanistan's 14-year insurgency has seen the Taliban take control of mineral assets across the country.