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UN mission expands presence in Afghanistan

The United Nations mission has opened offices in provinces to help in efforts to bring greater stability in the country.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2007 12:55 IST

The United Nations mission has expanded its presence in Afghanistan and opened offices in provinces to help in efforts to bring greater stability in the country.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) has recently established new offices iin Kunar, Badghis, Zabul and Khost, Tom Koenigs, the Secretary General's Special Representative in Afghanistan, told reporters.

On Saturday last, it had opened its newest office in Nimroz province. "In the coming months we will open further offices in Daikundi and Ghor. And maybe others will follow.

"This outreach to the provinces reflects a critical need. Afghanistan needs stability, it needs peace, governance and development," he said.

He stressed the importance of UNAMA operating in different communities. "Human rights violations including the violence of war, particularly against civilians, occur locally. Allegations of human rights violations have to be verified locally."

With Afghanistan's provinces seeking greater progress, he said, the new arrangements will maximize the UN's contribution.

"What we find in all the provinces is that people want more development and faster development," he said.

"UNAMA will be there to bring other agencies and donors into the provinces, to support the local Governors and help coordinate the efforts of other aid agencies to ensure that development is efficiently planned."

"It's often said that the first victim of war is truth. We must prevent this from becoming the case in Afghanistan."

As the Taliban continues its propaganda war, he emphasized that the Government and international community must persevere on a democratic course.

"Fighting the insurgency we must not forget what we are fighting them for — we are fighting to maintain these successes and maintain democratic freedoms. That's why I repeat again that human rights must not be compromised as we fight this insurgency," he added.

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