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    Afghan, Coalition leaders broker peace deal in Sangin

    Afghan, Coalition leaders broker peace deal in Sangin

    Photo By Master Sgt. Brian Jones | Helmand Provincial Gov. Ghulab Mangal symbolically presents a member of the Alikozai...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Brian Jones 

    Regional Command Southwest

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Maj. Gen. Richard Mills, Commanding General of Regional Command Southwest, started the new year in Sangin with Helmand Provincial Governor Ghulab Mangal, leaders of the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Alikozai tribal leaders to broker a peace deal in the embattled region in southern Afghanistan Jan. 1.

    “Local elders from the Sangin area approached Governor Mangal and myself to discuss what I would term an important security agreement,” said Mills. “I believe many of the Afghans in Sangin look to successful areas such as Nawa and Lashkar Gah and they want that same progress in their district. They want schools, medical clinics, and the freedom to move about without fear of the insurgency.”

    The tribal elders presented the Afghan government and Coalition leaders a document signed by seven Taliban commanders who agreed to follow the direction of the elders. In exchange, the elders asked that Afghan forces lead searches of area compounds, that all patrols in the area are partnered and for commitments for short-term and long-term reconstruction and development projects.

    “This was primarily an Afghan brokered agreement arrived at in close consultation with local Coalition Forces,” explained Mills. “It would allow for security conditions around Sangin similar to those already in place in other parts of the province.

    “GIRoA security forces, in partnership with Coalition Forces, would operate in the area. Additionally, there was a promise of freedom of movement as we improve route 611 north.”

    The elders pledged that insurgent fighting would cease against coalition forces and foreign fighters would be expelled from the area. Mills made it clear that Coalition forces would respond in force to any attack and would continue to advance into currently uncontrolled areas.

    Mills acknowledged the risk taken by the tribal leaders and his confidence in their commitment, although only time will tell if the agreement brings improved conditions in the region.

    “The insurgents have already begun to strike back savagely at those who desire peace, but so far the elders remain steadfast,” he said. “We are cautiously optimistic of this agreement and will monitor whether it leads to reduced insurgent influence and a rejection of illicit activity.”



    Date Taken: 01.01.2011
    Date Posted: 01.04.2011 06:28
    Story ID: 62978

    Web Views: 201
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