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Cablegate: Regional Command East--Bamyan and Baghlan

VZCZCXRO3583
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0407/01 0340419
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030419Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5300
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0005

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000407

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM, INR/B
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA
USFOR-A FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL AF
SUBJECT: REGIONAL COMMAND EAST--BAMYAN AND BAGHLAN
PROVINCIAL GOVERNORS HOST SECURITY JIRGA TO CONTROL BORDER
VIOLENCE

KABUL 00000407 001.4 OF 002


1. (SBU) Bamyan Provincial Governor Sarabi and Baghlan
Provincial Governor Barakzai recently co-hosted a jirga of
approximately 50 community leaders from the border region of
their two provinces to resolve a range of issues contributing
to increasing violence there. Community leaders on both
sides of the border want the insurgency stopped and are ready
to work with provincial authorities, security organizations,
and Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) representatives for
this purpose. The jirga was a critical step in resolving
security issues in the region before they become widespread.
Demonstrating the commitment to this stabilization process, a
memorandum of understanding was signed by both governors and
ANP, NDS, and PRT representatives focused on security. End
summary.

VIOLENCE ALONG THE BAMYAN-BAGHLAN BORDER CONTINUES UNABATED
--------------------------------------------- --------------

2. (U) The jirga, a decision-making assembly of male
elders, was held in Dust-e-Safeed village, Kahmard District,
Bamyan Province and followed an Independent Directorate of
Local Governance-sponsored gathering in Kabul several months
earlier, which Governor Sarabi characterized as a &failure8
because cross-border attacks on Bamyan originating in its
northern neighbor, Baghlan, continue unabated. According to
Sarabi, for example, part of the Kabul agreement called for
establishment of three new checkpoints in Bamyan to reduce
the violence*but two of the checkpoints have since been
attacked twice each. Principal jirga participants included
heads of shuras from the Bamyan districts of Kahmard,
Saighan, and Shibar that border Baghlan Province, Bamyan
Afghan National Police (ANP) Chief Awaz, Baghlan National
Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Majeed Kkan, Mullahs
Hafizullah and Bas Mohammad Khan (Tala-Wa-Barfak District,
Baghlan), Mullah Ismail (Du Abe, Bamyan), Malauwi Eid
Mohammad (Baghak, Bamyan), and Malauwi Hazardin (Ghandak,
Bamyan).

BORDER COMMUNITIES READY TO WORK WITH GIROA
-------------------------------------------

3. (U) Community leaders on both sides of the border want the
insurgency stopped and are ready to work with provincial
authorities, security organizations, and PRTOFFs for this
purpose. They realize security is the key to development;
at the same time, Afghan security officials emphasize the
importance of community cooperation in defeating insurgents
and criminals. Small, standing working groups were formed
during the jirga comprised of key leaders and government
officials from both provinces to find ways to stop the
violence and identify development needs that will enhance
stability in the eyes of the border populace.

4. (U) Other noteworthy recommendations by jirga participants
included:

-- Finger pointing is not productive; cross-border
communities must communicate and cooperate.
-- Shuras should play a stronger role in security because
of long-standing community distrust.
-- Mullahs and other religious leaders must be active
participants in formal leadership structures and in security
decisions.
-- A professional survey team that is acceptable to all
parties should finally resolve festering border disputes.
-- More checkpoints should be established and manned
jointly by ANP and local residents because the latter know
who belongs in the local communities and who does not.
-- Criminals must be brought to justice under the formal,
not informal, justice system--without being able to bribe
their way out of jail as this undermines faith in GIROA.
SUPPORTING KIWI PRT LINES OF EFFORT
-----------------------------------

5. (SBU) In support of the Afghan process above, the local
New Zealand PRT will focus on four lines of effort in
cooperation with its international community and GIROA
partners:

-- Key Leader Engagements. PRTOFFs--Kiwi and interagency
USG representatives--will visit formal and informal, positive
and negative influencers from both sides of the border to
explore and shape ideas discussed in the jirga. Influential
mullahs, elders, and Community Development Councils will be
engaged in the Ghandak Valley, as well as Ish Pesta, Kahmard,

KABUL 00000407 002.2 OF 002


and Shibar Districts.

-- Development. The combination of PRT efforts to build
relationships with key leaders in Shibar and eastern Kahmard
over the past several months and realization by them that
development is progressing in safer areas provides a unique
opportunity: for the first time, they are reaching out to
GIRoA by offering cooperation and security in exchange for
development assistance. In response, focus communities will
be identified to initiate development using New Zealand,s
Small Project Funds (SPF) and CERP Quick Impact Project (QIP)
funds. Larger, longer term endeavors will likely be
identified for additional programming in cooperation with the
Afghans.

-- Security. The PRT is working closely with the ANP to
improve existing security checkpoints and construct new ones
in the volatile regions of Ish Pesta and Du Abe, and along
the Ghandak Highway in the Shakari Valley. Hardening,
weatherization, and new equipment are required. As further
commitment to deepening area relationships to enhance
security, the PRT is considering establishing a permanent
presence in Shibar.

-- Rule of law training. In response to multiple
requests, training in the basics of rule of law precepts for
laymen and religious leaders is being pursued.

COMMENT
-------

6. (SBU) The jirga was a critical step in resolving security
issues in the region before they become widespread and
perhaps have a negative impact on Bamyan,s viability as one
of the provinces in RC-East nominally being considered for
transfer of lead responsibility for security to GIRoA, a NATO
initiative. Significantly all the important formal and
informal leaders of the region participated, including many
negative influencers. While there is genuine enthusiasm and
support to move forward with agreed monthly meetings under
this traditional governance construct, the situation is
fragile. PRTOFFs will work in partnership with GIROA to
re-enforce the small success and momentum established via the
jirga. End comment.
Eikenberry

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