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Efforts should be made to demilitarise Afghanistan: Eide

Last Updated: Monday, January 4, 2010 - 16:01

New York: The top UN official in Afghanistan has said that efforts should be directed to engage insurgents in peace process and towards demilitarisation of the war-ravaged country.
Kai Eide, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Afghanistan said,: "If the insurgents join the peace process (then) that will significantly increase the
prospect of gradual troop withdrawals."

He also asked the international community to demilitarise their overall approach in the country. "The international community needs to demilitarise its overall approach in Afghanistan if it is to reverse current trend," he added.

He said: "We have to get into a mode where our strategy is politically driven and not militarily driven, where the political and civilian components become an appendix to a military strategy."

Eide also highlighted that need for building the capacity of civilian forces in 2010 and not leave everything in the hands of the military.

"I am deeply sceptical of a situation where we have an increase of military forces and that increase of military forces engages in political, civilian and humanitarian issues," Eide said.

"I say this because...when you have an increased number of troops coming in, there will always be a trend for those forces to demonstrate quick results and take upon themselves political tasks. That leads to quick impact. But quick impact very often becomes quick collapse," he added.

Noting that the Parliamentary Elections in May were being conducted a short notice, Eide, underlined the need for reforms in the governance structure before sending the nations to the polls once again.

The Presidential Elections held, last year, were riddled with fraud with the first set of results being dismissed.

"For is important that a real reform process takes place before the next elections," Eide said. Expressing concern at the rejection of most of President Hamid Karzai`s nominees for a new Cabinet, the UN envoy said it was "political setback, in the sense that it prolongs the situation without a functioning government."


First Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 - 16:01
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