INTRODUCTION: A partial call-up of former soldiers in Afghanistan has produced 30-thousand new recruits for the dwindling Afghan army.The government has promised higher pay and other privileges in a bid to boost army numbers for a concentrated campaign against the Mujahideen rebels.
GV Army truck loaded with army volunteers and flying Afghan flags.
GV EXT Recruitment centre with recruit volunteers arriving.
SV Soldiers watch as recruits line up.
TRACKING SHOT Line of recruits in civilian dress.
SV Officers registers recruits and others sign on. (3 SHOTS)
SV PULL BACK TO GV Officer addressing recruits.
SV Officers issue instructions to NCO's.
GV Entrance to recruitment centre.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A partial call-up of former soldiers in Afghanistan has produced 30-thousand new recruits for the dwindling Afghan army.The government has promised higher pay and other privileges in a bid to boost army numbers for a concentrated campaign against the Mujahideen rebels.
SYNOPSIS: These volunteers are among the thousands who've come forward since the government announced the call-up earlier this month.They're being offered the equivalent of one hundred American dollars a month and they have privileges such as their family being able to hold more land than is normally allowed.However, their enthusiasm and flag-waving is not indicative of feeling throughout the country.
At the time of the Russian intervention in Afghanistan 20 months ago, the Afghan army numbered about 90-thousand.Since then western diplomatic sources say it has dwindle to about 30-thousand mainly through defections.
When the call-up was announced, the diplomatic sources reported rioting in Kabul.The government later announced that it would only apply to certain occupations with those engaged in vital services being exempted.Most of the recruits coming forward are experienced soldiers having completed terms of national service in 1979.At this recruitment centre in Kabul, the soldiers-to-be have come forward on their own account to take advantage of the high pay being offered and the privileges to their families that go with volunteering.
However, there have been reports of recruiting parties scouring the countryside for eligible men to serve in the armed forces.
The conscription drive is the latest of several efforts over the last year to bolster the armed forces.The government in Kabul has repeatedly offered amnesty to deserters and state radio recently reported that many soldiers who had left the ranks had returned.The chief of the general staff, Baba Jan, said the government is resolved to increase the effectiveness and war readiness of the armed forces.