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UN, Afghan Leaders Call for Investigation of Past Human - 2002-03-09


United Nations and Afghan officials have called for an investigation into human rights abuses during the country's war-torn past.

Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai told a U-N -sponsored human rights forum in Kabul (today / Saturday) that a truth commission should investigate charges of human rights abuses. Mr. Karzai said he does not believe his administration has the authority to establish a truth commission, but urged that a new government to be selected later this year do so.

U-N Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson echoed the Afghan leader's call for an investigation. She added that Afghanistan could not rebuild until its government establishes a system that guarantees personal security and respect for individual and minority rights.

Reports of human rights abuses have plagued Afghanistan for more than two decades, first from the communist government that was ousted in 1992, then by the Taleban. Recently there have been reports of ethnic Tajiks and Uzbeks attacking Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the U-S-led military offensive against al-Qaida and Taleban fighters in Afghanistan's snow-capped eastern mountains continues after a brief lull due to bad weather. Several loud explosions were reported from the mountains as the dense fog that had kept many U-S warplanes grounded began to clear.

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