MARJAH, Afghanistan --
More than 100 village elders gathered with coalition force representatives at the Marjah District Center, Nov. 24, for a regional stability shura.
The shura, a meeting to discuss local problems and concerns, included officials from Regimental Combat Team 1 and Marjah’s local government.
The discussion revolved around the security, governance, development and reconstruction of Marjah, a district comprised of more than 30,000 families. Before a major coalition offensive in February, Marjah was widely considered an insurgent stronghold.
Abdul Mutalib Majbor, the District Governor of Marjah, began the shura by outlining his region’s progress in security.
“The Afghan National Security Forces are working hard to bring stability to Marjah,” said Majbor. “People here are beginning to return to their normal life and are once again happy.”
“Together, we can fight for our rights,” added Gulam Wali, the Marjah District chief of police. “There are 600 police in the Marjah District. The people are supporting us, and we are supporting the people.”
The group talked about the future of Marjah and what is being done to develop the district.
“We are doing things such as building roads, cleaning the canals, building bridges, and remodeling the bazaar,” said Majbor. “And we have more than 2,000 local people working on these projects right now.”
The governor touched on the importance of local citizens standing strong against the Taliban.
“Despite the intimidation of the insurgents, many families are still sending their kids to school,” said Majbor. “I appreciate their bravery.”
“Our children are the future of Afghanistan,” said Wali. “We must help the education program and keep our children in school.”
As time passed, the group discussed many of the topics over a meal prepared by local Afghans. After the meal, many walked through the bazaar to get a better view of the productivity.