Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Illegal Mining Poses Security Challenge to Afghanistan: EU

Illegal Mining Poses Security Challenge to Afghanistan: EU

KABUL - President Ashraf Ghani’s Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish on Wednesday said illegal mining posed serious threats to Afghanistan’s national security and stability.
European Union Head of Delegation Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon said illegal mining in the country has been fueling insurgency and that the EU was committed to helping Afghanistan curb the problem.
On Wednesday, the European Union Delegation in Afghanistan and Parliament of Afghanistan held a joint high level conference on "Challenges to the Extractive Industries and Impact of illegal Mining on Security and Stability in Afghanistan".
Delegates discussed challenges and opportunities facing the mining sector in the country. 
"Illegal mining is not related to a remote conflict in a distant time! Illegal mining is happening in Afghanistan, literally at our gate, and it is happening now. This creates for all of us an obligation to react,” Mayaudon said.
In addition, the natural resources commission of parliament has said that Daesh is trying to take control of a number of mines in the country to fuel its war machine.
At the conference, participants said illegal mining by militant groups and local lawbreakers was playing a significant role in the deteriorating security situation in the country.
“We unfortunately have not managed to use our natural resources to ensure a prosperous and comfortable life for the residents of this country,” said Danish.
“Regarding the capacity and the issue it is the proper time for us to start the extraction of the mines,” said acting minister of mines and petroleum Nargis Nehan.
“Daesh terrorist group works hard to get access to the natural resources so that it can finance its terror activities through this,” said Ramazan Jumazada, head of parliament’s natural resources commission.
The EU has pledged that it will do whatever it can to help the Afghan government take control of illegal mining.
“The EU will support the government of Afghanistan to strengthen the regulatory and legal frameworks. We have available funds that we can allocate to the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum to support its reform agenda," added the Mayaudon.
“This creates for all of us an obligation to react, not least since illegal mining delivers its adverse effects at a critical juncture of Afghanistan´s post-2001 trajectory,” he said.
In the meantime, a number of investors have criticized government for its mining policy, saying government has suspended work on the mining sector and that this has impacted the economy of Afghanistan.
“The government has stopped the work on the mines because of marble, emerald or other precious stones,” said one local investor Basir Ahmad Tahiri.
“Unfortunately a few people who are not more than four are trying to preventing work on mines in Afghanistan,” said another investor Sayed Mohammad Anwar Hussaini.
According to Afghan government officials, Afghanistan is one of the countries which has the largest amount of minerals and natural resources. However there is a need for investment on the miningsector to boost Afghanistan’s economy. (Tolonews)