News - Afghanistan
More than half the remaining Isaf bases in Afghanistan have been handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as the Nato-led coalition reduces its troop numbers, according to an Isaf spokesperson.
Around 250 bases out of 400 have been entrusted to the local forces with more expected to be transferred in the future, Gen. Gunter Katz said in a Kabul press conference on Monday.
The handover primarily refers to the physical structure of the base and not necessarily the weapons and equipment used to defend the bases.
"Of handing over bases to the Afghans, I would be very cautious in saying [it includes] all the equipment. It's basically just what's been used to run the infrastructure – this doesn't include weapons or stuff like this," Katz said.
Most of the Isaf military bases remaining will be destroyed or given to ANSF by the end of 2014, according to decisions made by the commission founded for this purpose under the Afghan Ministry of Finance.
On the topic of the peace process, Katz said that to date more than 5,600 insurgents have joined the Afghan governments reconciliation programme.
"I can tell you today that we have more than 5,600 former Taliban who cut their links to the insurgency, who have given up violence, who acknowledged [they will] obey the laws and are willing to be reintegrated in their villages, in their homes, in their society," Katz said.
"Every Taliban has a choice: he can be reintegrated and come home in dignity or be captured or killed by the ANSF and international troops," he added.