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UN Mission brokers cease-fire between rival factions in Northern Afghanistan

UN Mission brokers cease-fire between rival factions in Northern Afghanistan

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has helped broker a cease-fire between warring factions in the northern city of Maimana, ending a spate of deadly violence that erupted last Thursday.

A spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), estimates that the rival Jamiat and Jumbesh militias have withdrawn 50 per cent of their troops in Maimana, the provincial capital of Faryab to the outskirts of the city. “This follows an agreement with a 24-hour implementation deadline that was brokered by UNAMA and signed by the two factions on Friday afternoon,” Manoel de Almeida e Silva, said yesterday from Kabul.

UNAMA is now monitoring the withdrawal of troop and will also be involved in registering all collected weapons. After last week’s fighting -- which left 13 dead and 17 injured -- two senior members of the Mazar Security Commission, General Fawzi (Jumbesh) and General Saboor (Jamiat), negotiated a ceasefire enabling UNAMA officials to enter Maimana and begin helping to broker the agreement.

Mr. Almeida e Silva said that based on Friday’s agreement, no armed men are to allowed in the town, with the exception of the two highest ranking local Jumbesh and Jamiat commanders, their deputies and their bodyguards (two each). He added that Maimana’s police are responsible for security in the city while the governor is tasked with overseeing their activities. In addition, all heavy artillery is being removed from the city.

While monitoring the overall situation, UNAMA found unexploded ordnance (UXOs) and live munitions in both the streets of Maimana and in homes, which pose a threat to civilians, particularly children who are on their way back to school as city life gradually returns to normal. Responding to that threat, Mr. Almeida e Silva said the UN Mine Action Centre (UNMACA) was set to arrive in Maimana yesterday to begin operations to restore safe conditions for the civilian population.