Skip to comments.Afghan transition begins with a whimper amid attack
Posted on 07/17/2011 8:41:56 AM PDT by markomalley
Afghanistan began the long-publicized transition to control of its own security amid secrecy, not fanfare, on Sunday, a reminder of how tense the country is as foreign troops start to head home and violence spreads.
Ministers flew to central Bamiyan province, one of the most peaceful places in Afghanistan, for a ceremony that was not announced in advance, did not run live on any TV channel and to which only a small number of media outlets were invited.
The handover from New Zealand forces to Afghan police -- there is no Afghan army presence in the province -- is the very first step in a years-long national transition that aims to put Afghan police and army in control across the country by the end of 2014.
The process is critical to Afghanistan's long-term security at a time when Western nations are wearying of the cost in lives and cash of the near decade-long war, both the Afghan government and its Western backers say.
Yet the president's office, which is coordinating the transition, other key ministries and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, all remained silent about Sunday's handover more than six hours after it began.
The Taliban have threatened to target transition events, and attacks have been a serious security concern for weeks.
(Excerpt) Read more at old.news.yahoo.com ...
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