NATO takes command of German Afghan team
6 January 2004
KABUL – More than 170 German soldiers in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, on Tuesday officially came under the command of NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).
Until now, US troops maintained one so-called Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz. The German PRT is the first to operate under the ISAF and not under the anti-terror mandate “Enduring Freedom”.
During a handover ceremony, ISAF commander and German NATO general Goetz Gliemeroth said: “I believe that in the future, more provincial reconstruction teams will come under the mandate of the ISAF.”
Gliemeroth added that the PRT should give the Afghan provinces lasting stability and central government influence.
In effect, the German team came under ISAF command on 31 December but bad weather delayed the official ceremony and Gliemeroth’s journey.
The takeover of the German PRT in Kunduz marks the star of the planned extension of the protection forces outside the capital, Kabul.
In the face of a deteriorating security situation and with the first free elections planned for next summer, both the Afghan government and the UN have been pushing for an extension of the deployment.
After the extension the German army will account for about 1,700 of the 5,700 ISAF soldiers.
Subject: German news