MoD Probes Possible Sale Of Weapons By ANA Officers

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The ministry of defense on Friday announced it has launched an investigation into reports of alleged weapons sales by Afghan National army (ANA) soldiers.

Reacting to such allegations, some Afghan legislators in parliament have raised the alarm over what they called poor leadership within the security forces, which, they said, in some cases overshadows the responsibility of soldiers during battles.

According to Reuters news agency, reports indicate some soldiers and police sell weapons and ammunition to the Taliban, an issue that poses a problem for commanders trying to improve control over vital supplies like fuel and ammunition.

Based on the report, cases such as the selling of ammunition to the Taliban have been reported in some volatile provinces, particularly in the southern province of Helmand.

A senior Afghan officer in the army’s technical and weapons branch, who did not want to be named as he is not authorized to speak publicly, said troops in Helmand and the northern province of Kunduz fired off 7,000 artillery shells in May alone in order to sell the casings.

“I don’t think that any of our soldiers commit such an act, because our officers and commanders take their soldiers under their command and hold them accountable for every single bullet, despite that we have asked the intelligence department of the ministry of defense to assess the issue; if anyone had sold a single bullet shell they will face prosecution,” a defense ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said.

This comes months after reports surfaced over large scale corruption over fuel contracts at the ministry of defense, an issue that forced President Ashraf Ghani to review the MoD’s procurement process and contracts and the reshuffling of dozens of generals in the army.
“Similar allegations were reported in the past, but there is a need for an investigation to be launched to prevent such an act,” MP Farooq Majroh said.

“Such activities pose serious harm to the entire system,” political analyst Tahir Hashemi said.

Statistics show that the Pentagon provided $300 million USD in 2015 to fund and equip the Afghan security forces. However, the Afghan forces continue to plead for more equipment.

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