UK soldiers help Afghan government officials meet village elders

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Soldiers from 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES) have helped district community councillors and local elders from a village in Nahr-e Saraj (South) get together at a 'shura' or meeting.

The meeting, in the village of Char Kutsa, signifies the progress 5 RIFLES have made since deploying to Helmand in October 2011, and is a milestone for the local Afghan National Security Forces and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The local Afghan Uniform Police hosted the shura at local checkpoint Lamar.

Captain Chris Davies, Second-in-Command of A Company, 5 RIFLES, said the attendance of the district community councillors (DCCs) was a major step in improving governance in the area as it is the link between the Afghan Government and the local people. He said:

This was the most significant and influential attendance we have seen so far in this tour and it is a real promising step for the local community here in Char Kutsa.

Not only does the attendance of the DCC officials add authority to the shura here, but it means that it has legitimacy with the government as well and will foster greater confidence among the rural communities here.