UN Adopts Resolution to Expand Peacekeeping in Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council has given NATO approval to expand its peacekeeping mission beyond Kabul. Last month, the alliance planners had proposed an additional 2,000 to 10,000 troops. However, as Reuters reports, the resolution will have little immediate impact because currently there are only a few countries willing to commit troops needed for the expansion.

Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, stated the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) “is what the Afghan people have been asking for since the beginning of the interim administration and I’m glad that the voice of Afghan for better security has been heard by the international community,” reports the Associated Press. According to IRIN News, the resolution stressed “the importance of extending central government authority to all parts of Afghanistan” and “to allow [ISAF], as resources permit, to support the Afghan Transitional Authority and its successors in the maintenance of security in the areas of Afghanistan outside Kabul and its environs, so that the Afghan authorities, as well as the personnel of the United Nations and other international civilian personnel engaged, in particular, in the reconstruction and humanitarian efforts, can operate in a secure environment.”

According to Reuters, Germany will send between 230 to 450 new troops to Kunduz only if the soldiers are part of the 5,500 member NATO mission, not the American force. It is still unclear where the force will be stationed and what it will mandated to do. While pleased with the UN and NATO acting in support of ISAF expansion, the Feminist Majority urges that the numbers of troops must be increased by at least 10,000, that their mandate must include disarmament, and that ISAF’s size in Kabul should also be increased. The Feminist Majority is leading the call for ISAF expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

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IRIN News 10/14/03; BBC News 10/14/03; The Associated Press 10/14/03; Reuters 10/14/03

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