Afghanistan's president is setting a four-month deadline for private security companies to cease operations in the country, a spokesman said Monday.
A presidential decree expected to be issued later Monday will detail the process through which the companies should cease operations, spokesman Waheed Omar told reporters in Kabul.
President Hamid Karzai has said repeatedly in recent months that these companies undermine government security forces, creating a parallel security structure. Contractors perform duties ranging from guarding supply convoys to personal security details for diplomats and businessmen.
The imminent decree expedites action that Karzai had promised in his inauguration speech in November, when he said he wanted to close down both foreign and domestic security contractors within two years.
"Within four months, all private security companies will be disbanded," Omar said, but declined to go into detail before the decree is released.