FOB NEJRAB, Afghanistan – Dignified members of Afghan civil society gathered in Kapisa June 27, 2012 at FOB Nejrab to express the urgent need to find ways to protect children from unexploded ordinances and from being used as human shields.
Member of the Afghan National Assembly, Shinkai Zahine Karokhail, and Afghanistan’s first female paratrooper Brig. Gen. Khatool Mohammadzai attended the meeting.
Convened by French Brig. Gen. Hautecloque-Rayz, public health, education and human rights officials mingled with French Army military and civil affairs officers from Surobi, Kapisa and Kabul all sharing a mutual interest in protecting children from the aftermath of war.
Hautecloque-Rayz addressed the leaders who dedicated the strategic group to making safety of children their priority. The leaders reviewed current efforts by the French Army, offering enhancements and giving thought to problems affecting children worldwide.
Shinkai Zahine Karokhail and Brig. Gen. Mohammadzai were interviewed by Radio OMID FM journalists. The group listened to OMID FM produced radio spots being aired; analyzed the content of handbills produced by the French team and they heard details from the chief of Staff who stated the Afghan National Army platoon's awareness campaign and leaflet distribution in Kapisa, stating that it could be replicated across society by doctors, teachers and others. They discussed the necessity airing television spots to build awareness of the dangers of mines and improvised explosives devices in families and school to children. French Army printed leaflets to help prevent children toying with unknown objects with a phone number to call for those spotting IEDs.
"Their first mistake is their last mistake," said the Director of Education in Nejrab. The policeman, in charge of human rights for Kapisa’s Centre of Police asked for more training for his first responders. The police needs more training as policemen are often the first to be called when someone encounters explosive material.
The Key Leaders having been made aware of the actions of Task Force La Fayette in favor of children’s protection, they may act in favor of the continuation of those actions in the years to come. This represents a step forward for the future of Afghanistan, since children represent the future of this country.