Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF)
The Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF; sometimes erroneously called the Afghan Private Protection Force) has the mission of delivering world-class security services to domestic and international customers in order to promote peace, prosperity and economic development for the people of Afghanistan. The APPF is a pay-for-service Afghan government security service provider underneath the Ministry of Interior that protects people, infrastructure, facilities, construction projects and convoys. It is organized as a State Owned Enterprise in order to be able to contract with domestic and international customers for security services. APPF guards are not members of the Afghan National Army or Police and they have no mandate to investigate crimes or arrest suspects.
The APPF was established in 2009 in order to allow Afghan Uniformed Police to focus more on traditional law enforcement tasks. In August 2010, President Hamid Karzai issued Presidential Decree 62 ordering the disbandment of all private security companies. The APPF was identified to take over the work that these companies had been doing. In order to provide more time to plan and execute the transition, the Bridging Strategy for Presidential Decree 62 was signed in March 2011, provided an additional year for private security companies to operate and for the APPF to develop its business and operational capabilities. Private security companies would have to be licensed by the APPF, to work under its auspices.
As laid out in the Bridging Strategy, all development fixed site security, all convoy security, and all commercial security were to transition to APPF by 20 March 2012. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bases, construction projects, and fixed site security were required to transition by 20 March 2013. Embassies and entities with diplomatic status were exempt under the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and thus authorized to continue using private security indefinitely.
By 2012, the APPF had about 6,000-8,000 guards who provided security for international, government and non-governmental entities, sites and facilities. At that time, the APPF was headquartered in Kabul with 8 regional zone headquarters in Herat, Shamshad, Mazara, Kunduz City, Kandahar, Gardez, Helmand City, and Jalalabad City. The APPF also operated a training center in Kabul's Bagrami district that trained guards in static and convoy security programs of instruction. Within the main headquarters, the APPF was led by a Deputy Minister (Jemal Sidiqi as of 2012) who also served as chairman of the APPF State Owned Enterprise Executive Board. The Deputy Minister also had 2 deputies, acting as Director of Operations and Director of Business Operations.
The Headquarters staff was expected to grow during 2012 as the APPF increased its capability to execute command and control of guard forces around the country and interface with customers who need to contract with the APPF for security services. The total size of the APPF was expected to grow to 18,000 personnel.
As the 20 March 2012 deadline approached, it was clear that many private security companies had not yet worked out contractual arrangements with the APPF. In order to avoid security gaps, companies were given an additional 30 to 90 days to do so, depending on the riskiness of their business. For example, those involved in lower-risk roles such as reconstruction projects recieved 30 days. Companies carrying out what were deemed high-risk jobs, such as running supply convoys, got 90 days. By 21 March 2012, 57 private security companies had been dissolved and their responsibilities taken over by the APPF. Also as of 21 March 2012, 16 companies had switched over to the APPF for security services, while 75 more were in the process of negotiating their terms with the force.
The Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), was scheduled to take over the provision of most commercial security services in Afghanistan from private security companies in March 2013. By mid-2016 this had not occurred. Afghan Government approved private security companies continue to operate throughout Afghanistan.
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