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Afghanistan: UN-Backed Disarmament Programme Ends

Afghanistan: UN-Backed Disarmament Programme Officially Ends

New York, Jun 30 2005 11:00AM

The disarmament and demobilization phases of Afghanistan’s Disarmament Demobilization Reintegration programme (DDR), a key United Nations-backed step in setting the country on the road to stability after decades of war and factional fighting, formally ended today with more than 61,000 former combatants disarmed.

After today no one will be allowed to use or move weapons, other than security organisations or those licensed to do so by the Ministry of Interior, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Kabul, the capital.

But today is not the end of the phase of DDR which aims to reintegrate ex-soldiers into civil society and continues until mid-2006. So far reintegration has been made available to 52,509 people, Mr. Edwards added. As of yesterday DDR, launched in October 2003, had resulted in 61,417 former combatants being disarmed and 34,726 light and medium weapons collected.

Although today is the final day of disarmament and demobilization, Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme (ANBP) will, at the request of the Ministry of Defence, continue to process armed units that have already handed in their lists.

34,726 light and medium weapons have been collected under the DDR process, of which 14,754 have been handed to the Ministry of Defence, with the remainder held by the Afghan National Army and available when required.

ENDS

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