AFGHAN President Ashraf Ghani Dismisses His Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi Amid A Spate of Attacks
The national security council of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, said in a statement on Friday 19, that Interior Minister, Masoud Andarabi, had been dismissed, amid a spate of recent attacks against the country’s security forces.
General Yasin Zia, the current chief of army staff has been appointed acting defence minister, said the statement, until defence minister Asadullah Khalid, who has been hospitalised for months, recovers from an illness, but did not give any reason for the removal of Andarabi.
A helicopter carrying nine security force members was shot down by militia forces on Thursday, in central Wardak province, killing all on board, and Andarabi had been tasked by President Ghani with arresting the commander of the militia, whose forces had been responsible for other recent attacks.
A senior security official said the former minister had failed to arrest the commander after the President had sworn to reporters on Thursday after the downing of the helicopter that the culprits would be arrested and punished.
Now during the snowy winter months in Afghanistan, typically there is a lull in fighting before renewed attacks start again around March, and the government is preparing itself for a new Taliban spring offensive, in spite of a meeting in Moscow on Friday between the Afghan government and the Taliban, where an international conference on peace talks took place, in a bid to stop the fighting.
The conference took place just six weeks before the agreed deadline last year for the US to pull its troops out of the country, and officials from Russia, China, Pakistan, and the US called on the two warring entities to reach an immediate ceasefire, as reported by Reuters.
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