Security remains pressing concern in Afghanistan, UN envoy tells Council

30 October 2002

With sporadic fighting continuing across parts of Afghanistan, instability remains a priority concern in the country, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, told the Security Council today.

With sporadic fighting continuing across parts of Afghanistan, instability remains a priority concern in the country, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, told the Security Council today.

The Government cannot yet address the underlying causes of insecurity, and instead can only function “like a fire-brigade… putting out local fires rather than preventing their occurrence,” he said at a formal Council meeting.

Faction leaders in the North – Generals Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad – have been brought together to control those of their commanders who have been responsible for recent incidents, he said, adding that similar efforts have been made to control fighting in the West and South East.

“There will be no long-term solution to the security problems in Afghanistan unless and until a well-trained, well-quipped and regularly paid National Police and National Army are in place,” Mr. Brahimi warned. “The Government and people of Afghanistan need and ask for international support to provide security while the National Police and National Army are trained.”

The envoy blamed ongoing human rights violations in Afghanistan on “the weakness of the central Government, warlordism, persistent factional conflicts in some parts of the country and a very basic and dysfunctional justice system.” Abuses against Pashtuns, while abating somewhat, constitute a problem which threatens to have an adverse impact on the peace process, he added. Particular attention must also be paid to improving the human rights situation of Afghan women.

On the humanitarian front, Mr. Brahimi reported that the Government and the UN are working to put in place assistance needed to help some 2.2 vulnerable Afghans survive harsh winter conditions. Despite these efforts, “there are still gaps in needs for shelter, fuel, blankets and other items for which additional resources are urgently needed from donors,” he said.

Calling for sustained global attention to Afghanistan, Mr. Brahimi said the country’s people are looking “to the United Nations in general and to this Council in particular to continue to mobilize and organize [the] support of the international community for the peace process.”

 

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