Rival militias withdraw from Afghan city in UN-brokered agreement

Rival militias withdraw from Afghan city in UN-brokered agreement

Rival militias have now fully withdrawn from the centre of Maimana in northern Afghanistan – where a spate of deadly violence erupted last Thursday – and United Nations staff who were withdrawn from the area have returned and reopened their offices in the now calm city, a UN spokesman said today in Kabul.

Manoel de Almeida e Silva, spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that all troops of the Jumbesh and Jamiat militias had withdrawn to the city’s outskirts in accordance with an agreement the UN helped broker on 10 April, and a prisoner exchange was essentially complete.

An agreement was also reached on 14 April to form a neutral police force to ensure security, including vehicle weapons checks and the issuance of special identification for vehicles coming into the city, and a UN police adviser and military adviser were due to arrive there today, he added.

Mr. de Almeida e Silva said UN deminers who arrived in Maimana on Sunday were still actively working on removing live munitions and unexploded bombs which had been found in the streets and homes and were a threat to civilians, particularly children.