Afghanistan: UN brokers ceasefire between feuding northern factions

Afghanistan: UN brokers ceasefire between feuding northern factions

The United Nations has brokered a ceasefire agreement between feuding factions in the northern part of Afghanistan, a UN spokesman said today in New York.

On Friday, the UN sent a mission to Mazar-i-Sharif at the request of the Afghan Interim Authority and the two factions in an effort to help end the fighting in the area. After a seven-hour meeting, an agreement was reached and a security commission set up over the weekend to ensure the terms of the ceasefire agreement, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, is back in New York for consultations, where he is expected to meet with the Secretary-General and brief the next Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, the spokesman said.

In other news, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said that an important workshop to design the new structure of the Afghan Ministry of Health got under way in Kabul.

The workshop brings together more than 40 representatives of the health sector, including directors of major hospitals, UN agencies, government officials and key non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for three days of talks on developing a functional structure and designating the roles and responsibilities of each department, WHO said in a statement.