UN Resolution to Provide Security


By Edith M. Lederer

Associated Press
November 15, 2001

The United States says a new U.N. resolution gives a go-ahead for coalition troops to help maintain law and order in the vast areas of Afghanistan captured by anti-Taliban forces.

The Security Council resolution adopted Wednesday night encourages all nations to help ensure the safety of areas of Afghanistan no longer under Taliban control. The resolution makes no explicit reference to a multinational force, but U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said ``it welcomes the efforts of those members of the coalition who are either in Afghanistan at the moment or prepared to do so to help ensure security in that country, especially the capital of Kabul.''

The United States launched military strikes on Oct. 7 against Afghanistan's Taliban militia, which it accuses of harboring Osama bin Laden, blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington. British aircraft and special forces have taken part in the campaign along with military personnel from Canada and elsewhere.

Diplomats have been talking to Afghan groups on cobbling together a broad-based transitional government, but political efforts have been overtaken by the opposition's swift military successes. Some fear a repeat of the blood bath that took place in the capital between 1992 and 1996, during fighting between different factions of today's victorious groups.

Anticipating a U.N. resolution, Britain said Wednesday that several thousand of its soldiers were ready to deploy as a ``stabilizing force'' in cities taken by the opposition northern alliance. France, New Zealand and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, also pledged to send troops. Turkey has already promised to send special forces and offered peacekeepers.

Britain and France said another Security Council resolution would be needed later to authorize the sending of an international force.

The resolution expresses strong support for efforts to bring Afghanistan's disparate ethnic groups together to form a broad-based transitional government and warns Afghan forces ``to refrain from acts of reprisal.'' It also urges the 189 U.N. member states to provide Afghans "urgent humanitarian assistance."

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Sergey Lavrov said all 15 members of the Security Council believed the Afghans themselves must decide on a transitional government and on how security should be handled. China, which agrees, advocates major U.N. involvement in any post-Taliban Afghanistan — possibly to stave off heavy U.S. influence in the region, which would not sit well with conservatives in China's ruling Communist Party. "At such a critical juncture, the United Nations should play a leading role," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Thursday. ``It should be preparing to activate political, technical and financial assistance to Afghanistan.''

Ravan Farhadi, an envoy for the Afghan opposition, told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that his coalition had no intention of monopolizing power. "All ethnic groups must be equally represented and given a voice,"said Farhadi, who represents the deposed government of Burhanuddin Rabbani, which is still recognized by the United Nations. His faction dominates the northern alliance.

The council wants the top U.N. envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi to quickly convene a meeting of Afghan leaders on a transitional administration, said Britain's U.N. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock. The United Arab Emirates has agreed to a U.N. request to host a meeting of Afghan factions, two U.S. officials said Wednesday. The gathering could take place as soon as this weekend, one State Department official said.

More Information on Afghanistan

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C íŸ 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.