TITLE=U-N - AFGHAN DEBATE (L-O)
INTRO: At the United Nations Friday, the Security
Council held a day-long debate on the situation in
Afghanistan. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports.
TEXT: U-N officials say more than 160-thousand people
have been displaced in Afghanistan over the last month
as a result of intense fighting between the Taleban
and the United Front opposition.
U-N officials estimate more than 18-hundred fighters
from both sides have died. But the biggest impact of
the renewed fighting, they say, is on the civilian
Kieran Prendergast, the U-N Under-Secretary-General
for political affairs, told the Security Council the
Taleban - which claims to control 90 percent of
Afghanistan - is mistreating civilian populations in
areas under attack, destroying homes, livestock and
crops in perceived enemy territory.
Mr. Prendergast describes the political situation as a
stalemate. He says the U-N mission in Afghanistan
attempted to re-open talks between the Taleban and
United Front leader Ahmad Shah Masood earlier in the
/// PRENDERGAST ACT ////
Commander Masoud indicated his continued
readiness, despite the on-going fighting, to
meet with the Taleban to discuss a political
solution to Afghanistan's problems. He made it
clear that he was not interested in surrender to
the Taleban. With his consent, the U-N mission
passed this message privately to the Taleban
leadership in Kandahar. Mullah Omar's response
was that the Taleban could not re-open direct
talks with the United Front until they, in his
words, "show their sincerity."
/// END ACT ///
The United Nations does not recognize the Taleban as
the government of Afghanistan. Consequently, the
Taleban's Representative-designate to the United
Nations, Abdul Hakeem Mujahid, met separately with
reporters to present the Taleban's point of view.
/// HAKEEM MUJAHID ACT ///
During the negotiations, they started their
fighting against us. He (Mr.Masoud) is not
sincere in this regard. Why? Because he is not
in favor of peace, normalcy, national unity.
Instead, he is working for greater Tajikstan
with the combination of Tajikstan.
/// END ACT ///
U-N officials say they fear the fighting in
Afghanistan will spread and become a regional conflict
if a peaceful solution is not found soon. (Signed)
27-Aug-1999 18:25 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 2225 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list