RealNews

Where Guns Rule, Disarmament Falls Short

An effort by the United Nations to demilitarize Afghanistan is called a failure. Warlords continue to hold power in much of the country. Taj Mohammed picked up a gun when he was 18 and fought the Soviets, and then the Taliban, in the Panjshir Valley, the heart of the Afghan resistance against occupiers. After two decades of serving his homeland, the longtime commander is among 100,000 fighters who have been told to hand over their weapons and return to civilian life, as part of a $370-million United Nations plan to disarm Afghanistan. But the plan, the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program, which began last fall, has been floundering. Afghanistan’s top warlords have been reluctant to cooperate, and the mujahedin fighters have felt betrayed, jeopardizing the chances of bringing security to the nation before a general election planned for September.Full Story

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