5 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-687

The lights are on in Garmsir, Helmand Province

Rear Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, the ISAF Deputy Commander for Stability, met with local Garmsir vendors recently to gauge their sense of security since ISAF troops cleared insurgents from the area. .

A KABUL, Afghanistan - After a long and difficult struggle for freedom from Taliban rule, the lights are finally shining is Garmsir. In an area where drug trafficking and smuggling remains a problem, the shopkeepers and traders of Garmsir are returning to ‘business as usual.’

In a conversation with Rear Admiral Matthieu Borsboom, the ISAF Deputy Commander for Stability, a local vendor explained that “the markets are getting busier and busier each week.”

The Admiral accompanied a foot patrol through the local market to visit shopkeepers and gauge their sense of security since ISAF troops cleared insurgents from the area.

In order to maintain security and support local businesses, the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Garmsir has been working closely with the local government and the district governor to establish governance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The USAID provided new, solar-powered, street lights for the bazaar area and the PRT provided the security. “Now, the bazaar can stay open longer, making the community feel safer. This creates jobs for the community and addresses the problem of economic insurgency,” said Borsboom

“It is clear that less than half of the insurgents in this area are ideologically driven,” explained an intelligence officer at the PRT.  “Therefore it’s very important to win [them over]. [They] are simply looking for a means of supporting their families … socio-economic development is key to [our] effort.” 

The local vendors voiced support for the United Kingdom PRT and their focus on constructing essential infrastructure, such as the local district centre, as well as mentoring local government officials.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/