Disarmament: More peace districts
21 May 2009 - Takhar province is one of the most populated provinces in the north east of Afghanistan with 16 districts and a long river border with Tajikistan.
During the Soviet invasion and Taliban regime Takhar was one of the most war-affected provinces with its strategic location and centre of resistance against the Taliban. As a result many heavy and light weapons and tons of ammunition were stored away.
Since 2002 however Takhar was one of the first provinces to welcome the disarmament programmes. The district of Farkhar was the first to comply with the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) programme and to be called a Peace District.
So far DIAG has collected 3,152 arms and 614.9 metric tons of ammunition from eight districts of the province.
At the same time community development projects such as the building of a dam for a power supply, schools and water wells have started.
Farkhar, Chahab, Baharak, Worsaj and Khuaja Ghar districts of Takhar province have been announced as Peace Districts by the DIAG Joint Secretariat while Bangi, Namakab, Khuaja Bahauddin and Chall districts are among those which have contributed many weapons but are yet to be declared Peace Districts.
Recently a weapons handover took place in the mountainous Chall district of Takhar province. The district has a population of approximately 30,000 and is just west of Taluqan, the capital city of Takhar.
Forty two pieces of heavy and light guns were submitted to DIAG so the district could comply with disarmament.
“The people of Chall are ready to voluntarily handover all guns to DIAG to show their support for the Government’s sovereignty and the peace process,” said Abdul Manan Hakemi the district manager.
Abdul Latif Ibrahemi the governor of Takhar congratulated the people of Chall for joining peace process: “I am thankful to you that with all the concerns, problems, disasters and flood damages you faced recently, once again you have showed your bravery by cooperating with your Government and the peace process.”
“Over the years, Afghanistan has suffered much as a result of war, bringing unprecedented suffering onto its people, and destroying most of the country’s infrastructure. But with Allah’s help your country has come a long way. You now have an elected Government, parliament, provincial council, a national army and national police. You also have the support of the international community that is both willing and prepared to aid your country on its way back into the community of nations,” said Talal Fandi UNAMA’s Political Affairs Officer
“There was a need to have guns during the three decades of war and resistance. By scarifying our sons and members of our families, we could beat and defend the aggressive enemies. Now is the time to bring peace and stability by submitting guns and participating in the peace process,” said Mir Alam Khalid the former jihadi commander in Chall district.
DIAG is part of Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme which was established in 2003 to assist the Government of Afghanistan with the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of soldiers and former fighters. Today ANBP concentrates on the destruction of anti-personnel mines and stockpiled ammunition and the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups.
By Shamsuddin Hamedi, UNAMA