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UN Warns Of Afghan Public's Flagging Confidence

UN envoy Tom Koenigs (file photo) (AFP) December 7, 2006 -- The UN's top diplomat in Afghanistan says the international community and Afghan government must redouble efforts to reconstruct the country to revive public confidence.

Envoy Tom Koenigs today said a report by a UN Security Council mission that visited Afghanistan in November recognizes that public confidence has been battered by the insurgency, corruption, the illegal drug trade, and poor law enforcement.

The mission urged security sector reforms, with the help of international support.

The commander of the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan warned on October 8 that without visible improvements in the lives of ordinary Afghans, most Afghans could soon harbor an allegiance to the Taliban-led insurgency.

Saving Afghanistan's Heritage

Saving Afghanistan's Heritage

A UNESCO team working to stabilize Herat minarets in 2003 (UNESCO)

THE MINARETS OF HERAT: In Afghanistan's leafy western city of Herat, a two-lane road slices between the city's five remaining 15th-century minarets. Every truck, car, bus, motorcycle, and horse-drawn carriage that passes by sends vibrations coursing through the delicate structures.
In particular, the Fifth Minaret -- all 55 meters of it -- seems ready to collapse into a dusty heap of bricks and colored tiles at any moment. A large crack near its base makes drivers speed up just a little as they pass by....(more)

Click on the image to view an audio slideshow of this story by RFE/RL correspondent Grant Podelco.


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