UN sends security delegation to monitor disarmament in northern Afghanistan

5 January 2003

The United Nations today sent a disarmament monitoring team to northern Afghanistan, where hundreds of guns remain despite recent arms control successes.

Late last year, a delegation including representatives of two key factions – Jamiat and Jumbesh – collected approximately 50 mostly light weapons from the area. Commanders from both groups were asked to go back to their units in Mazar-i-Sharif while the armaments were returned to their respective weapons depots.

Today, a UN spokesman in Kabul estimated that "a further 300 private weapons are still in the region," and pledged that disarmament efforts would continue.

David Singh also reported that a security delegation consisting of representatives from Jumbesh, Jamiat, Hizb-e-Wahdat and the UN travelled to Sholgara district of Balkh province yesterday "to investigate whether this area needs to be disarmed."

Another joint delegation was set to travel today to Piruz Nakhjir in Samangan Province "to monitor the recent disarmament there and to ensure that the area remains secure," he added.

Meanwhile, the UN also reported today that thanks to new funding from donors, thousands of Afghans are being added to the rolls of those receiving international relief aid. In central Afghanistan, for example, 66,000 families will receive assistance – more than double the 23,000 initially targeted.


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