Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

  • Live: Pro-Palestinian protest staged in Paris under tight security

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

France takes charge of NATO troops in Kabul

Latest update : 2008-08-05

France has taken command of NATO's 5,000-strong contingent deployed in and around Kabul, with the aim of handing over responsibility for the capital region to Afghan security forces within a year.

France took command Tuesday of about 5,000 NATO-led soldiers deployed in Kabul and surrounding areas with the aim of handing over to Afghan forces within a year, a French general told AFP.
   
France took over from Italy, which also routinely rotates with Turkey in commanding the troops from the 40-nation International Security Assistance (ISAF) deployment.
   
"Our mission is to transfer within a year the responsibility for the capital region to the Afghan security forces," French General Michel Stollsteiner told AFP after a ceremony attended by the head of ISAF, US General David McKiernan.
   
The handover of power would happen in stages, starting with Afghan security forces taking charge of the city centre around summer and then gradually expanding their role to cover the whole of Kabul province, he said.
   
The transfer of command is significant because it would be the first province where Afghan security forces take over from ISAF, which is deployed across the country.
   
France has about 2,800 soldiers in ISAF, which numbers about 52,700 troops -- most of them Americans. Most of France's soldiers are in Kabul province.
   
By taking command of the Kabul region, France is confirming its growing engagement in Afghanistan as announced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in April.
   
French reinforcements are being deployed to Kapisa province, east of Kabul, and the country's deployment is expected to reach 3,000 by the end of August.
   
Kabul has seen several deadly attacks over the past years, most blamed on insurgents aligned to the extremist Taliban movement that was driven from government in an invasion led by the United States in late 2001.
   
But the most intense unrest is in the south and east of Afghanistan, areas along the border with Pakistan.
   
The violence has climbed steadily despite a growth in the number of international soldiers in the country, now at nearly 70,000 in all between ISAF and a separate US-led coalition.
 

Date created : 2008-08-05

COMMENT(S)