RealNews

U.S. Envoy Demands Afghan Disarmament

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said Tuesday a government program to disarm some of this country’s 100,000 militia fighters was crucial to stability, and must proceed even as the nation prepares for landmark elections. “Realistically, it is very difficult to do, but it is a necessary thing to do,” Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters at the heavily guarded embassy compound. “As long as there are multiple armed forces under multiple commands, rivals, there is always the risk of instability and war and conflict.” The government says it hopes to disarm about 40,000 of the militia fighters by the end of June, a number most observers say is overly optimistic. There have been two flare-ups of factional fighting in the last month. The first clash, in the western city of Herat in March, left at least 16 dead, including a Cabinet minister. Full Story

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