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U-N: Afghanistan Faces Challenges in Security - 2002-10-31


The U-N secretary general's special envoy to Afghanistan says the country still faces challenges in maintaining security, creating a new constitution and upholding human rights.

Lakhdar Brahimi told the U-N Security Council Wednesday that the Afghan government lacks the means to deal effectively with problems that threaten security. He repeated the need for the international community to provide security in Afghanistan, while it trains a new police force and national army.

Regarding human rights, Mr. Brahimi said many ethnic Pashtuns have been harassed and intimidated in northern Afghanistan -- and that they are unable to return after fleeing their villages.

He said women in many parts of the war-torn country are still forced to marry -- and that local authorities often fail to intervene in cases of domestic violence.

But the U-N official said Afghanistan has made remarkable progress from where it was a year ago, when a U-S-led coalition launched its war on terrorism and ousted the country's Taleban rulers.

Mr. Bahimi added that sporadic fighting continues in northern and southeastern parts of the country.

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