SIGAR finds only 15% of Qaysar-Laman road complete after 12 years

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a new report released on Thursday that after more than 12 years and over $249 million spent, only 15 percent of the Qasyar to Laman road, between Faryab and Badghis, has been completed. 

The report said that from July 2005 through to September 2017, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved four grants totaling $571 million to complete the section of the Ring Road from Qeysar in northern Faryab province to Laman in western Badghis province.

“Most of those funds were for financing contracts between the Afghan Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) and construction, engineering, and security providers to complete the 233-kilometer road segment,” according to the report.

However, the project has been plagued by security challenges, poor contractor performance, and a lack of capacity within the MoPW to manage large construction contracts.

“Those issues led to repeated failed efforts and to the termination of two contracts for the construction of the road. As of September 2017, construction had been stalled for two and a half years,” it said, adding that “by that time, ADB and MoPW had spent $249 million on the project only 15 percent of the construction was actually completed.”

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The Taliban militant group controls or contests 45 percent of the districts in Afghanistan

The Taliban militant group controls or contests 45 percent of the districts in Afghanistan, the Long War Journal assessment report has said.  

The LWJ report released no Tuesday, highlights the Taliban’s rural control, “a key source of insurgent strength that the U.S. military underestimates. The coalition and Afghan government cannot roll back Taliban gains or ultimately defeat it while ignoring the Taliban’s rural advantage,” it reads.

According to FDD’s Long War Journal estimation, the Taliban currently controls 41 districts and contests an additional 118. 

“The assessment is developed by regularly evaluating local, open-source reports for each district in Afghanistan. A controlled district is one in which the Taliban is openly administering a district, providing services and security, running the local courts and imposing sharia law,” the report said.

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