KABUL, Afghanistan (May 13, 2012) — The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) welcomes the release of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s list of areas intended for the third stage of the transition of security responsibility in the country.
The Afghan government will now enter the third of five tranches as they continue to move forward in the process of taking the responsibility of national security from ISAF.
“President Karzai’s announcement of the third group of areas to enter transition is a testament to the capacity and capability of the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) who will now be responsible for the security of more than 75 percent of the Afghan population.” said Gen. John R. Allen, ISAF commander.
Three-fourths of Afghanistan’s population will be living in areas that will have transitioned from ISAF to ANSF following the “tranche three” implementation.
“Afghanistan continues to move forward in securing the sovereign future of their country and the security of its borders, and this is another step in bringing the hope of greater prosperity to the Afghan people,” said Allen.
The transition of security responsibility in a designated area is a process that only takes place when the ANSF has the capability to take the lead role in maintaining their own security and can adequately deal with security situations that may arise in these areas. The complete process of transition in an area can take 12-18 months.
The list of areas intended for the third tranche of transition covers 122 districts, bringing the total number of districts to 260 in all 34 provinces. Every capital of every province is now in a designated area of transition.
NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Simon Gass, welcomed President Karzai's decision on the third tranche of transition.
He said, 'This decision builds on the good results we have seen in the first two tranches and maintains momentum in the transition process. It has been enabled by the great strides made by the Afghan Security Forces who have repeatedly shown their ability to maintain security:'
Gass went on to say, "Afghans can be proud of their security forces and the brave and professional job they are doing. We are on course to complete transition at a sensible pace by the end of 2014. But after that we will maintain a strong partnership with Afghanistan: we will not abandon this great country. After thirty years of conflict and suffering, Afghans deserve a better future: today's decision is another step in that direction".