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Helmand: Local force being raised under army command

Helmand: Local force being raised under army command

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Jul 22, 2018 - 00:51

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A 700-member strong local force is being raised under the Afghan National Army (ANA) command in the insurgency-hit southern Helmand province soon, a senior military official says.

The process to recruit personnel for the local force has been approved and would be launched in near future, according to ANA’s 215 Maiwand Military Corps commander Maj. Gen. Wali Ahmadzai.

Ahmadzai told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview on Saturday that tribal elders would provide guarantees for the recruits before they were trained and stationed in their own districts under leadership of trained professional officers.

He said the local force recruits would be given facilities similar to the regular army personnel in order to be effective in keeping security.

To a question, Ahmadzai said the proposed force would not be handed over to local authorities like the local police force.

He said trained and professional military officers would be appointed as commanders of the force which would be properly trained in order not to create problems in future.

The corps commander said all members of the 700-member force would be residents of Helmand province and the recruitment would be started from Greskh district

He said the problem of military personnel shortage had been resolved in Helmand and 80 percent of damaged vehicles and equipment had been repaired besides positive changes in the security forces leadership.

Ahmadzai also revealed that large scale operations would be launched in areas currently being controlled by Talibaninfo-icon militants.

“In Helmand, 15 armed groups operate, with some directly receiving logistic support from other countries. These include night vision binoculars, arms and others,” Ahmadzai claimed.

Meanwhile, member of the Helmand provincial council, Abdul Majeed Akhunzada, told Pajhwok that the proposed local force should be well equipped and trained.

He said the plan might succeed because those being recruited in the force were local residents who were familiar with their environmentinfo-icon.

Akhunzada said security forces should target arms and resources of the Taliban in order to stabilize Helmand.

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