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EU launches anti-corruption campaign in Afghanistan

AT-KABUL: In order to help Afghan citizens to fight corruption and garner support for stronger government action against corruption, the European Union delegation in Afghanistan on Saturday launched its 2016 anti-corruption campaign. The campaign will continue for seven weeks and culminates with high-level conference in early May.

The EU in a press statement said that Afghanistan’s endemic corruption is crippling the economy and undermining the fight against insurgency. This threatens past achievements and investments in Afghanistan as well as the future of all young Afghans.

According to the statement the campaign would shed light on four themes: Corruption and peace; corruption in the judicial sector; natural resources and stability – the threat of illegal mining; and public action against corruption.

Attending the campaign launch, EU Special Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin said, “Every day ordinary Afghans are confronted with corruption’s dark shadow that fills the pockets of the rich while the poor suffer. It undermines the Afghan people’s hard-won achievements over the last 14 years, and it is a primary threat to the sustainability and survivability of the Afghan state.”

He further said that: “The government can and should do more, but government action cannot stand alone. Every Afghan should take personal responsibility for ending this scourge. This includes refusing to benefit from the corruption of others. This is why the campaign will also focus on how ordinary citizens and media can confront and expose corrupt practices.”

“In a year where the international community is considering its future support to Afghanistan, there is an urgent need to show progress on the government’s anti-corruption efforts. After an encouraging start too little is now happening too slowly,” said Ambassador Mellbin.

EU’s call on corruption in the judicial sector comes at a time when President Ashraf Ghani instructed the Attorney Generals’ Office to review the Farkhunda case.

The President’s Deputy Spokesman, Syed Zafar Hashemi, said that President Ghani ordered the Attorney General’s Office to revise and reopen Farkhunda case.

He termed Afghanistan’s justice sector an independent and made it clear that the president would not interfere in this regard.

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