Afghan troops take Uruzgan responsibility
Wed Jul 18, 11:43 am
The security responsibilities of Uruzgan province were handed over from international forces to the Afghan troops during an official ceremony.
“Afghans had the responsibility to protect their country and they should strive to defend their country themselves,” Afghan minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak told the ceremony, which was also attended by Australian troop officials and IDLG head Abdul Khaliq Farahi.
Expressing satisfaction with the implementation of the transition process, the local officials and the governor of Uruzgan asked the central government to pay greater attention to the reconstruction, good governance and provision of better services to the citizens.
Welcoming the implementation of the transition process, Australian PM Julia Gillard said in a special message that the transfer of security responsibilities to the Afghans was “a sign of progress and a positive reflection on the capabilities of the Afghan Soldiers.”
“The start of the transition process in Uruzgan is a sign of progress jointly made by the Afghan and Australian forces. Our forces had an important mission in Afghanistan. The purpose of deployment of our forces in Afghanistan was to make sure that Afghanistan should not be the center of terrorism anymore,” the statement said.
Since 2001 until now, about 1550 Australian soldiers were providing security in Uruzgan; during this period 33 of them were killed.
At the beginning of this year, the Australian government announced it would start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in 2013.