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

IndustrialsAssociated 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.

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.

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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.