President Ashraf Ghani on Friday appointed former Helmand governor Hayatullah Hayat as acting minister of interior and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Yasin Zia as acting minister of defense, according to a statement by the National Security Council.
Hayatullah Hayat replaced Gen. Massoud Andarabi who was appointed to the post in December 2015.
Also, Gen. Ayub Salangi, former deputy head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, was appointed as the deputy minister of interior affairs.
The statement said that the changes in the Ministry of Interior are aimed at improving the security situation and reforms in the ministry.
Meanwhile, another statement by the National Security Council reads that Gen. Yasin Zia will lead the ministry while also remaining in his post as chief of staff of the Afghan National Army.
The statement said that Gen. Zia will serve as acting minister of defense until the return of Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, who is under treatment for an illness.
“These designations and reshuffling are aimed to improve the security situation and to bring reforms in the security institutions to help maintain the security of people’s lives and property and to strengthen 2024 self-reliance targets,” said Rahmatullah Andar, a spokesman for the Office of National Security Council.
The appointments come as violence remains high in the country despite peace efforts.
Hayat has served as governor of Kandahar, Helmand and Nangarhar provinces. Gen. Zia has served as deputy head of the National Directorate of Security, deputy minister of defense and chief of army staff.
Mohammad Ayub Salangi has served as senior deputy minister of interior for security.