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UN mission in Afghanistan strengthened

The UN Security Council has strengthened the role of the UN's mission in Afghanistan amid an increase in violence in the Islamic country.

world Updated: Mar 21, 2008 12:25 IST
DPA

The UN Security Council has strengthened the role of the UN's mission in Afghanistan amid an increase in violent attacks in the Islamic country.

The 15-nation council extended the mission's mandate on Thursday for another year and gave it a number of new tasks. The 1,000-strong UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) should help improve coordination among Afghan security forces and work with the international NATO-led forces fighting to quell the violence.

US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad called the resolution a "step in the right direction".

The resolution also voiced concerns about an increase in violent and terrorist attacks in the country. It warned that the terrorist network's inextricable links to the Afghan drug trade were a danger to civilians as well as international personnel.

Taliban-led insurgents are expected to increase their attacks in the coming spring and summer months.

The UN mission will also be spread out across a larger portion of the country, though an increase in the number of UN personnel on the ground is not likely. Other tasks include helping authorities tackle corruption and crime, coordinate humanitarian aid and offer advice on democratic elections.

UNAMA was created in March 2002, soon after the US-led invasion ousted Afghanistan's Taliban regime, and has worked to promote reconciliation and reconstruction.