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Defense ministry to form local army

AT News Report-KABUL: The government is working on a plan to form a new force touted as ‘local army’ in the framework of the defense ministry, the ministry’s spokesman said Saturday.

The aim of the local army was said ensuring further security and driving back Taliban’s attacks. Mohammad Radmanesh said that the local army would recruit some 5,000 people in the first step, while the ceiling of the recruitment would reach 30,000.

“The local army will consist of the people who have previously served in the security forces. They will be guaranteed by local elders and influential figures and our intelligence section will confirm them,” Radmanesh said.

He added that the first step of recruitment took place in Laghman province with recruiting 200 persons.

“The local army would serve under the national army and their recruitment process would be also like the national army’s recruitment,” he said.

The local army would be stationed in the areas that were already cleared from insurgents by the security forces.

The force’s formation comes when the US sent 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan to train and advise Afghan security forces. Scott Jackson, commander of the US newly arrived forces said the soldiers would be deployed in Balkh, Helmand, Paktia and Nangarhar provinces.

In 2010, the US funded Afghan government’s scheme to establish an extra force under the title of ‘local police’, inspired by the militia program in Iraq.

But the local police failed to provide security and complaints raised by people over the troops’ violating of human rights, armed robberies, abductions and other organized crimes mostly in the northern areas.

Aziz Rafiee, head of the civil society believes that the local army would have the similar fate of the local police. “The local army will not help security, but it will increase the notorious militia men,” he said.


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