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Afghanistan: UN Envoy Appeals For Larger Security Presence

United Nations, 6 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The chief UN representative in Afghanistan has appealed to the UN Security Council to provide more security to the country to safeguard reform and reconstruction efforts. UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told the council today that security has deteriorated in Afghanistan amid increasing ethnic and factional conflict. He said there is increased activity by elements linked to the Taliban and warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and a continuing drug economy.

Brahimi said these developments threaten preparations for nationwide elections planned for next year under the Bonn process. Increasing violence, he said, also could disrupt humanitarian aid and reconstruction efforts.

The Security Council has authorized an international security force for the Kabul region but has declined to expand that authority despite repeated requests from UN and Afghan officials. NATO has agreed to take over command of the Kabul-based force in August.

Brahimi today also called on all states involved in Afghanistan's security and reforms not to deal with factional leaders and engage only with the Transitional Administration of Hamid Karzai.