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UN Radio Afghanistan Progress But Problems Remain

UN Radio: Afghanistan Peace Process On Track But Problems Remain

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  • Special Report: Security Council Mission to Afghanistan Reports on Progress and Challenges
  • Special Report: War on terror should not infringe human rights
  • Afghanistan Peace Process on Track but Security Problems Remain: Security Council Told

    The Afghan peace process is on track, but it's plagued by security problems. Ambassador Gunter Pleuger of Germany, who led a Security Council mission to Afghanistan a week ago, cites terror activities, fighting among warlords and crime, as areas of concern. At the same time, Ambassador Pleuger says Afghanistan has made great strides in many areas, including the successful launch of a new national currency, the ongoing reconstruction of roads, the reopening of schools, progress in the reform of the security sector, preparations for the constitutional Loya Jirga and the release of a draft constitution.

    "Notwithstanding these gains, major challenges lie ahead and much remains to be done if the peace process is to become irreversible and security in Afghanistan realised. Insecurity caused by terrorist activities, factional fighting and drug-related crime remains the major concern of Afghans, of the Afghan society."

    Insecurity and threats, especially in the South and Southeast, limit the access of government and development agencies to the area.

    Bomb Damages UN Office in Afghanistan

    A car bomb exploded outside a United Nations office in southern Afghanistan Tuesday wounding at least one person. The explosion in Kandahar occurred in front of a building used as a workplace by the UN Office of Project Support. The blast, which occurred after UN employees had already left the building at the end of their work day, cracked walls in the building and broke its windows. A UN spokesman says all UN staff in Kandahar have been told to stay indoors.

    More Than Half a Million Palestinians to Suffer From Construction of Israeli Wall: Report

    A new UN report says a security wall being built by Israel will seriously disrupt the lives of nearly one-third of the Palestinian population in the West Bank. The report says a little more than 10 per cent of the 430-mile wall will actually follow the Green Line, which marks the border between Israel and the West Bank. The rest of the wall will cut into Palestinian territory. The head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jerusalem, David Sheara, tells UN Radio that as a result of this planned path for the wall, more than 270,000 Palestinians would be seriously affected.

    "They will have very limited access to many of the services they enjoyed before the wall was built - to the schools and hospitals, to farmlands, and obviously, the markets, so we think this would have a devastating impact on the local economy and those people, who are directly affected."

    The report says that more than 400,000 other Palestinians will need to cross the wall to get to their jobs and services.

    UN Official Says War in Northern Uganda Is World's Forgotten Crisis

    A senior UN official has described the 17-year-old rebel war in northern Uganda as the worst forgotten humanitarian crisis on earth. As a result, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, pledged to increase relief operations in the area. He told a news conference in Nairobi that the international community has done too little. He said what had happened was a moral outrage, adding that the war waged by the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan government had led to the displacement of more than a million people and the deaths of tens of thousands.

    Security Council Concerned about Somalia

    The UN Security Council has expressed serious concern over the humanitarian situation in Somalia. And it called on Somali leaders to facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance and assure the safety of international and national aid workers. In a statement Tuesday, the Council urged all Somali leaders to participate constructively in the Leaders' Meeting planned for later this month in Kenya. It also urged them to bridge their differences, to reach agreements on a viable government and a durable and inclusive solution to the conflict in Somalia. Council President is Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins of Angola.

    "The Security Council reiterates that a comprehensive peace-building programme with special emphasis on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration will be important to post-conflict Somalia."

    The Council reiterated its support for the Somali National Reconciliation Process launched under the auspices of the Inter-governmental Authority on development.

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