From Gunfire To Governance In Gizab

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29th April 2010, 06:38pm - Views: 1087

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Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

MSPA 141/10

Thursday, 29 April 2010 


Local government is being restored and the Taliban suppressed in a northern Oruzgan

town thanks to the local community’s desire to denounce the Taliban with a strong

show of bravery with military support from Australian Special Forces and their

Afghan partner force, the Provincial Police Reserve.

In the northern Oruzgan town of Gizab, a number of Taliban were killed and captured

in a series of firefights that involved Gizab locals, Special Operations Task Group

troops and their Afghan partners.

The Commanding Officer of the Special Operations Task Group, LTCOL P, said that

winning combat operations was only half the challenge for the rapidly deployed force.

“A unique opportunity existed to provide a longer term solution because the local

population was clearly emboldened to reject the insurgents and establish legitimate

governance in Gizab,” LT COL P said

“Within the space of a few days, Gizab went from gun fighting to relative stability.

“Most of the decisive engagements at Gizab took place within the first 48 hours of the

community-led uprising against the insurgents but we had already begun planning the

restoration of local government in Gizab as the first shots were fired.”  

On 24 April the Special Operations Task Group command element escorted 20

Afghan government officials including the Governor of Oruzgan and tribal leaders

into Gizab onboard ISAF helicopters.

“With community leaders and Government officials from Oruzgan taking the lead and

the Australian and Afghan forces providing security, a large meeting was held in the

centre of the town to nominate a new Gizab District Governor, a new District Chief of

Police and their deputies,” LTCOL P said.

“The groundswell of popular support from the townspeople culminated in an

impromptu ceremony in the middle of the town to raise the Flag of Afghanistan.

“To witness and support an Afghan community taking ownership of their security

situation and rejecting the influence of the Taliban was an incredibly satisfying

conclusion to an intense few days.

“And in the middle of it all, we managed to conduct an Anzac Day dawn service at

Gizab,” LTCOL P said.

Gizab’s insurgent leaders have now been removed and the town is working with the

Government of Afghanistan and ISAF with a view to establishing a permanent police

force in the town in the near future. This is a solid step in a long and important

journey in restoring peace in Afghanistan.

Media Note: 

Imagery is available at: 

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Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

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Media Contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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