RealNews

Afghans Trade Guns for Shot at a New Life

Disarmament Project in Province Serves as Test for Country. Afghan and U.N. officials launched a long-awaited national program to disarm tens of thousands of factional fighters, demobilize them from their militia units and reintegrate them into civilian life. At one base, long lines of grizzled men in tunics and baggy trousers, each lugging a battered assault rifle or rocket launcher, waited hours to register for the program. Then they filed over to a cargo truck where each weapon was inspected by U.N. officials, slapped with an identifying bar-code sticker and stashed away. In return, each fighter was handed a plastic ID card that entitled him to $200, a change of civilian clothes, a box of food and vocational training and employment counseling in such fields as land mine clearance, road construction and factory work. Full Story

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