The Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Monday said the Public Protection Forces (PPF) and Afghan Border Police will no longer fall under the Ministry of Interior but will instead be merged into the Afghan National Army (ANA) in order to secure areas that are retaken by the army following military operations.
Defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said these forces will receive training and will be better equipped before starting their mission.
“They will do the jobs that they used to do under the interior ministry, but the defense ministry has prepared a proper plan for them. They will be reconstructed completely,” said Waziri.
The process of bringing over 15,000 border police under the army’s umbrella kicked off on Sunday. Of the total number of border police, 4,000 will remain under the interior ministry’s structure to secure customs, borders and airports.
Once the border police have been incorporated into the army, the Public Protection Forces will then be moved to the MoD. This should happen from 31 December 2017.
Meanwhile, the Afghan interior ministry said all the public protection forces, even those who maintain the security of individuals such as government officials and MPs, will eventually fall under the army.
“If the defense ministry can draw out those forces who serve for individuals and make them serve the nation, it will be a very good move,” MP Sayema Khogyani said.
Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the move to merge thousands of PPF and border police with the army will help maintain security in the country.
According to Danish, the process is also aimed at getting police to focus on rule of law opposed to military operations.
Danish said however that the number of Police Special Forces will increase in order for them to carry out special operations.
“The border police and public protection forces will join the defense ministry by the start of the transition process,” said Danish.
Analysts however said despite the positive points in merging the forces, there will be challenges in maintaining security until the forces are trained and ready for missions.
“There are border police in some sections of the border, but other parts are open. We should have an agenda to close the open parts. It should be considered,” Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former deputy head of the interior ministry said.