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Local army deployment sparks concerns in north

Local army deployment sparks concerns in north

Aug 12, 2019 - 13:07

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Residents, civil societyinfo-icon activists and Provincial Council members of northern Balkh province have warning against a repeat of the wrong experience of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) in the form of creating a local army.

The warning comes at a time when the process of deploying the local army has just been set in motion in Faryab and Jawzjan provinces in the northern zone.

According to the Shaheen Military Corps in the north, the force of two battalions has been approved for deployment to Chamtal and Chahar Bulau districts.

Provincial Council Chairman Mohammad Afzal Hadid said he recently held discussions with Shaheen Military Corps officials on the formation of the local army.

He said a proper framework and strict monitoring of the local army was promised by military officials during the meeting.

“Now that the process of the local army formation is underway, people are concerned that the bad experience of the Afghan Local Police force may be repeated,” he remarked.

Hadid said important information regarding the deployment and structure of the local armed forces had been shared with him but still he would strictly monitor their effectiveness.

Haji Sultan, a tribal elder from Chahar Bulak district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Afghan Local Police had earlier had a presence in the district.

He said the ALP had suffered casualties in the past two years, losing many areas to the Talibaninfo-icon. This contributed to the worsening of the security situation.

He said ALP personnel conducted illegal activities, robbed people at night and axted as policemen in daytime. The ALP leadership was handed over to former commanders who misused their powers.

But Nangyal Habibi, a civil society activist, hoped with the deployment of the local army personnel to far-flung areas, the security situation would improve.

Mohammad Hanif Rezae, spokesman for the Shaheen Military Corps, acknowledged public concerns and said the local army would be like the Afghan National Army.

One difference is that local persons would be recruited and deployed to their own localities under the mechanism. They will get professional training at military academies vefore deployment.

He explained the local army would be completely under the Afghan National Army. An office of the ANA would lead every company of the local army.

Rezae said salaries and privileges of the local army personnel would be similar to that of the Afghan National Army.

He added the local army was currently being deployed to Fayab and Jawzjan and the process would be extended to Balkh province as well.



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