Qala-i-Naw, Afghanistan (14 December, 2011) —This morning, fifteen groups of insurgents from different parts of the province of Badghis have gone to the Badghis Provincial Government facilities (former Spanish contingent base and assigned to the Afghan Administration), with the common goal of abandoning the fight against the Afghan Government and ISAF forces and handing over their weapons.
Accessing by different parts of the city and ending the long day’s march from areas such as Kadesh-Khordak, Golchin, Nakcherestán, Piwart, Gonbad, Kheir Khaneh, Hoze-zuri, Darr‑e Bum and Arman, different groups, all of them led by their Commanders, arrived at various times at the end point where they were met by the PRT Commander, Colonel Felix Eugenio Garcia Cortijo, the Provincial Governor, Mr. Jam Arman and different national and local authorities.
After handing over their weapons and signing the minutes by which they pledged to abandon the armed struggle, Governor Arman welcomed them to the community and congratulated them on their brave decision to abandon weapons.
This massive abandonment of armed struggle with the corresponding delivery of weapons has been made possible, in part and according to the governor’s words, thanks to the good job done by the Spanish contingent in the province of Badghis, creating conditions of safety, governance and confidence in the reconstruction that encourages the social rejection of activities of insurgent groups.
Spain, through the PRT, provides essential items of aid to every insurgent who lays down their weapons. This aid, even more valuable in one of the poorest provinces in Afghanistan, will allow veterans to get through this harsh winter until, once in the reintegration program, they learn a trade and be reintegrated into the labour market.
Afghan Government Peace Program, which Spain advises and supports, is an ambitious plan that aims to encourage the abandonment of weapons by insurgents providing, through various programs, for reintegration into Afghan society.
Currently, Badghis, with more than 1,200 former rebels, is a reference and model in this Peace Program to the rest of Afghanistan.
LtC. José María Rivera Moreno, Spanish Army,
Regional Command-West Public Affairs
Allied Command Operations