On 4 July 2012, the transition ceremony of Kapisa province was held in Mahmud-e-Raqi. It formalizes the symbolic transfer of responsibility of the province, from ISAF to Afghan authorities as part of the transition process in the province, launched May 13, 2012. It is the first official ceremony for Tranche 3 of the transition process. (Tranche 3)
The ceremony was notably attended by the Afghan ministers of defence and interior, Mr. Abdul Wardak and Mr. Besmullah Mohammadi; the Governor of the province, Mr. Mehrabuddin Safi; the Ambassador of France, His Excellency Bernard Bajolet; General Olivier de Bavinchove, French Commander in Afghanistan, and General Eric Hautecloque-Raysz, Lafayette Brigade Commander.
During the traditional grand assembly, shura, which opened the ceremony, the Afghan authorities thanked the coalition and France in particular, for the work and the sacrifices made by the French military. 55 of them have died since 2008 in Kapisa.
General Hautecloque-Raysz recalled that the progress made was the result of a partnership between the Task Force La Fayette and the Afghan forces, the long journey together shoulder to shoulder, 'Shona ba Shona' to bring peace and security. He also recalled that "the security situation in Kapisa is encouraging. Even though the insurgency remains active in the districts of Tagab and Alasay, it is faced by a strong Afghan security force which began to take the lead in operations during the fall of 2011."
The French soldiers have been engaged in Kapisa since 2006-2007, first with the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team which accompanied the first Brigade of the Afghan army, then with a battalion from summer 2008 and since 2009, with the La Fayette Brigade.
Since the summer of 2008, French forces conducted operations to push back the insurgents and help Afghan forces establish a presence in the valleys of Kapisa. This assisted in increasing the capability of the 3rd Brigade of the 201st Afghan corps, deployed in Kapisa, and allowed the Afghan police to take the lead in providing security.
There are about 1,300 French soldiers in Kapisa. They remain in support of the Afghan army and will gradually disengage as part of the continuing transition. 10 posts and bases have already been transferred to the Afghans. This transfer will continue until the end of 2012.