Aid groups fear NATO Afghan withdrawal

Afghan police and army troops are to replace foreign forces in at least five locations in the country in July and a transition process, agreed by the Afghan government and NATO, is slated to be complete in December 2014. But aid groups fear a power vacuum that will make their work in the country untenable. "If the national security forces that are left behind in 2014 are unable to provide for the security of the population, and the indications at the moment are that this will indeed be the case, then we can expect that they'll also be unable to provide the security conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance," said Rebecca Barber, a humanitarian policy and advocacy adviser with Oxfam. "This will have serious implications for the Afghan people—millions of whom are reliant upon humanitarian aid." (IRIN, May 10)

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