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U.N. shuns a third of Afghanistan due to violence

Raising alarm bells on lawlessness in Afghanistan, a U.N. official said on Tuesday that a third of the country was off limits to U.N. reconstruction, aid and political personnel. Jean-Marie Guehenno, the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, told the U.N. Security Council that U.N.-organized elections for next June could also be endangered by the lack of security. “The process has entered into its most critical and sensitive stage — the constitutional and electoral processes — but prevailing insecurity poses a serious risk of derailing it,” Guehenno said.” He questioned whether regional governors or warlords were committed to a central government or tried to subvert it, noting that one of them, Ismail Khan in Herat near the Iranian border, has refused to yield any authority to Kabul. “The poor security environment now prevalent through much of Afghanistan threatens the gains made so far and the tasks that lie ahead,” Guehenno said. Full Story

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