MAHMUD-E-RAQI, Afghanistan – A transition ceremony for Kapisa Province was held here, July 4, 2012. It formalizes the symbolic transfer of responsibility of the province from the NATO international force to Afghan authorities as part of the transition process in the province launched May 13, 2012.
The ceremony was attended by Abdul Wardak and Besmullah Mohammadi, Afghan ministers of defense and interior, Mehrabuddin Safi, Kapisa province Governor, Mr. Bernard Bajolet, ambassador of France in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Olivier de Bavinchove, French commander in Afghanistan, and Brig. Gen. Eric Hautecloque-Raysz, commander of Task Force La Fayette.
During the traditional shura, which opened the ceremony, the Afghan authorities thanked the coalition and in particular France for the work and the sacrifices made by the French soldiers. 55 of them died in Kapisa since 2008.
Hautecloque-Raysz recalled that the advances were the result of a "partnership between Task Force La Fayette and the Afghan forces, the long way passed together shoulder to shoulder," Shona Shona ba "... in order to bring peace and security" . He also recalled that "the security situation in Kapisa [is] encouraging. Of course the insurgency remains active in Tagab and Alasay districts, the Afghan security forces began to take the lead since autumn 2011. "
The French soldiers were engaged in Kapisa since 2006-2007, first with the Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams who accompanied the 1st Brigade of the Afghan National Army, then with a Battle Group from summer 2008 and, since 2009, with Task Force La Fayette.
Since the summer of 2008, French forces conducted operations to repel the insurgents and to help Afghan forces gain a foothold in Kapisa valleys. They oversaw the formation of the 3rd Brigade of the 201st Afghan corps that is now deployed in Kapisa and of the Afghan police who now are solely responsible for providing the province’s security.
There are about 1,300 French soldiers in Kapisa today. They remain in support of the ANA and will gradually be redeployed as part of the transition process. Ten outposts and bases have already been transferred to the Afghans. This transfer will continue until the end of 2012.