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Attacks, bombings challenge Afghan Govt: UN

Secretary General Kofi Annan said security challenges face the Kabul Govt as it struggles to become a viable democratic state.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 12:53 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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A sharp rise in suicide bombings and attacks on schools in Afghanistan underscore the security challenge facing the Kabul government as it struggles to become a viable democratic state, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

There were 17 suicide bombings last year and 11 in the first two months of 2006, compared to five in the preceding three years, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a progress report to the Security Council.

Afghan principals, teachers and officials are being assassinated, schools burned or bombed and students threatened, prompting school closures in 16 southern districts, Annan reported.

Attacks by anti-government elements are focusing on the fledgling Afghan security forces and soft targets like government and social institutions as attacks on the better trained foreign forces in the country typically result in defeat, his report said.

Attacks by anti-government fighters have soared since mid-2005 and have continued unabated throughout the winter, in contrast to previous years, when they tapered off during winter, Annan said.

The report appeared to provide new evidence that Taliban guerrillas, who have been fighting the government since their regime was ousted after the Sept 11 attacks, are waging an increasingly vicious insurgency.

But Annan blamed the rising violence on a variety of factors like weak state institutions, a thriving illicit economy based on opium, factional violence and disputes over resources as well as the insurgency and terrorism.

To succeed as a democratic state, the Afghan government must be able to demonstrate that it can deliver on its promises by providing basic services and rebuilding the shattered country, Annan said.

"Afghanistan can only become a place of stability to itself and its neighbours if the causes of violence and distrust ... are resolutely addressed," he said.

Annan's report came shortly before the March 24 expiration of the mandate of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

He called on the Security Council to renew the mission for another 12 months even as he expressed concern over the safety of UN staff as they seek to provide the Afghan authorities with political and strategic guidance.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 12:38 IST