Afghanistan: UN envoy hails national army's progress

31 August 2003
Lakhdar Brahimi

The senior United Nations envoy to Afghanistan this weekend hailed progress achieved by the country's national army and called on all people to work for reconstruction in the war-ravaged land.

Addressing Saturday's Opening Ceremony of the Afghan National Army Central Corps, Lakhdar Brahimi said that during a quarter of century of conflict and destruction, many Afghans had courageously defended their country. "Now, however, it is time for them to go back with dignity to civilian life and continue serving their country and their people through other means," he said.

Mr. Brahimi said the ceremony was an indication that peace, security and stability had returned to Afghanistan. He added that soon, only members of the Afghan national army and police would be wearing a uniform or carrying guns.

"I think one of the most important symbols of a State is precisely the monopoly it has to exercise and use force when necessary through its national police and army," he observed. "Nobody else in the State is allowed to go around with a gun, let alone use that gun against the people of the country."


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