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Rebuilding Afghanistan requires reform

Rebuilding Afghanistan requires reform of key ministries, UN envoy says

Afghanistan must improve the functioning of key security structures in order to restore long-sought stability, Lakhdar Brahimi, the senior United Nations envoy there, said this weekend.

Mr. Brahimi, in an address delivered in Kabul on Saturday, cited the importance of reforming the ministries of defence and the interior as well as Afghan intelligence operations.

"The beginning of this reform is going to help the implementation of DDR [disarmament, demobilization and reintegration] in the coming weeks and months and all these activities are going to restore, I hope, the security that the people of Afghanistan really long for and the security that they do not have yet," he said at the official opening of the central office of Afghanistan's New Beginnings Programme in the capital.

A spokesman for Mr. Brahimi today said Kunduz would be the site of the first DDR, followed by Gardez and Bamyan. "In each location 1,000 combatants will be disarmed in the pilot phase," Manoel de Almeida e Silva said.

The New Beginnings Programme was set up by the Afghan Transitional Administration to implement the DDR process.

In another development, Mr. de Almeida e Silva reported today that a blast has damaged a building operated by a non-governmental organization (NGO) for the UN. "Yesterday morning at about 5: 00 a.m. an explosion made by what appears to be an improvised explosive device left a large whole on the eastern wall of a warehouse run by the German Technical cooperation (GTZ) in the northern section of Jalalabad City," he said.

The cause of the explosion, which left no casualties, remains unknown, but local authorities are investigating.


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