logo

Afghanistan’s Lapis Lazuli is a ‘Conflict Mineral’ Fueling War in the Country

TAGS:     ,

THEME:   WORLD

By SisiBroad | June 9, 2016 12:00 am

Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is helping fuel the war that has long ravaged the country, with armed anti-government groups, including the Taliban, earning up to $20 million a year from illegal mining of lapis lazuli, a London-based corruption watchdog said on Monday.

The total earned by armed groups in 2014 was $19.9 million, the group added, noting that a local strongman identified as Abdul Malek had paid $750,000 in protection money to the Taliban out of proceeds from the illegal lapis lazuli mining. Last year, Malek paid the Taliban $4 million, the report says.3

Afghanistan's Lapis Lazuli is a 'Conflict Mineral' Fueling War in the Country

Afghanistan’s Lapis Lazuli is a ‘Conflict Mineral’ Fueling War in the Country

Much of the illegal lapis lazuli exports go to China, “where it is prized as jewelry,” Global Witness says. “The fact that Chinese lapis sales are funding the Taliban comes in contrast to the Chinese government’s official position as peace-broker on Afghanistan in regional security talks.” Beijing is part of four-country consultations with Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States aimed at bringing the Taliban into a peace dialogue to end the war.

In a report last year, the U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said Afghanistan’s minerals and hydrocarbons sector had the potential to “provide the Afghan government with billions in much needed funds in the coming decades.”

But SIGAR also questioned Kabul’s ability to develop the sector in a sustainable and coordinated way, noting that the $488 million that the U.S. government has invested to help develop Afghanistan’s extractive industries “could be wasted.”

“These lapis mines are one of the richest assets of the Afghan people and should be driving development and prosperity,” said Stephen Carter, the Afghan campaign leader for Global Witness. “The mines provide a tiny fraction of the benefit they should, and have become a major source of conflict and grievance.”

The Taliban are expected to step up attacks this year as their new leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, moves to consolidate his position after his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last month.

top_banner PRINT THIS

Comments are closed.

  • PLACE YOUR LISTINGS
  • RED LIGHT CAMERAS

  • MTA UPDATES

  • rek1
  • rek2
  • OUR WRITERS

    SokSok
    Jan OvlandJan Ovland
    Ann TyllerAnn Tyller
    SisiBroadSisiBroad
    Dan BartDan Bart
    Serge KSerge K
  • RSS Top News

    • House delays Obamacare vote, denying Trump 100-day win - Politico April 28, 2017
      PoliticoHouse delays Obamacare vote, denying Trump 100-day winPoliticoHouse Republican leaders delayed a vote on their Obamacare repeal bill until next week at the earliest, denying President Donald Trump a major legislative victory during his first 100 days in office. Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants decided ...Last-minute GOP push on health care threatens government […]
    • 2017 NFL draft: Browns take Garrett No. 1; Bears, Chiefs, Texans trade up for QBs - Washington Post April 28, 2017
      Washington Post2017 NFL draft: Browns take Garrett No. 1; Bears, Chiefs, Texans trade up for QBsWashington PostThe 2017 NFL draft is underway. Consider this your cheat sheet for the 2017 NFL draft, which features a clear-cut No. 1 prospect, massive uncertainty at quarterback and — as it does every year — the promise of many […]
    • The Latest: Coulter says talk would have said enforce law - Washington Post April 28, 2017
      Washington PostThe Latest: Coulter says talk would have said enforce lawWashington PostBERKELEY, Calif. — The Latest on Ann Coulter's canceled appearance at UC Berkeley (all times local):. 6:20 p.m.. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter says her canceled speech at the University of California, Berkeley was simply going to say federal ...Coulter reveals topic of 'seditious and hateful' […]
    • Tillerson: China threatened to sanction North Korea over another nuclear test - CNN April 28, 2017
      CNNTillerson: China threatened to sanction North Korea over another nuclear testCNNWashington (CNN) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that China threatened the North Korean government with sanctions if it undertook another nuclear weapons test. Tillerson made his comments on Fox News ahead of a visit to the United ...In an apparent shift, Tillerson says US […]
    • Trump Tax Plan Would Shift Trillions From US Coffers to the Richest - New York Times April 28, 2017
      New York TimesTrump Tax Plan Would Shift Trillions From US Coffers to the RichestNew York TimesPresident Trump and the first lady, Melania, at the White House on Thursday. Mr. Trump could benefit substantially from his tax plan, with provisions such as a repeal of the alternative minimum tax and a proposal to allow owner-operated companies […]
  • RSS NYC Latest News


  •