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NL missie Uruzgan

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(Het kan een zaak zijn van 'wishful thinking', maar de gouverneur van Uruzgan sluit niet uit dat Nederlandse militairen langer in Uruzgan blijven dan nu gepland (formeel einde missie = 1 augustus volgend jaar, laatste militair weg uit de provincie op 31 december)

Diggers in deadly desert for long haul

August 17, 2009 12:01am

AUSTRALIAN troops will have to stay in Afghanistan for at least another five years to see the job through, according to Oruzgan Province Governor Assadullah Hamdam.
And the commanding officer of Australian forces in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Pete Connolly believed it would take even longer.

Speaking just days before his country's historic elections, Mr Hamdam said Australian troops had done a great job providing security and reconstruction in his poor province.

Prior to the opening of a new $2 million boys school in Tarin Kowt, a project funded and supervised by Australian forces, the Governor was asked specifically how long Australian forces would be needed in Oruzgan.

"Up to five years we will need in the first place," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"Our ANA and ANP need more support.

"In five more years we will establish a proper security force."

The Governor also did not rule out a change in policy by the Dutch forces based there, and said the Dutch - the commanders of international forces in Oruzgan - could stay in the country beyond the middle of next year when they were due to depart.

The Rudd Government has repeatedly said it would not fill the lead role in the province, a role now played by the Dutch.

While Mr Hamdan believes an effective Afghan security force would be in place in five years, Lt-Col Connolly said the local forces still had a very long way to go.

When asked if this meant the outside training and support would take longer than five years he said, "Yes, it could well take longer than that".

"It's going to be a long haul," he said.

In his modest office in this poor provincial capital, Mr Hamdam told The Daily Telegraph he expected between 50 and 70 per cent of voters to turn out for Thursday's poll.

That is below the 85 per cent predicted by Tarin Kowt international forces commander Dutch Brigadier General Marc van Uhm.

Brig-Gen van Uhm said security forces expected an increase in attacks by Taliban insurgents ahead of the vote, from suicide attacks and bombings to rocket fire.

"We have to be very sharp in coming days and weeks in order to make sure that we keep security at that level," he said.

(Bron:, 17 augustus 2009,,27574,25939637-421,00.html)


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