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Military

Updated: 12-May-2004
 

SHAPE News Morning Update

12 May 2004

GEN. JONES
  • German says no U.S. base closure decision seen before 2005

KOSOVO

  • Kosovo Albanians urged to build a multi-ethnic society

IRAQ

  • Secretary-General says U.N. envoy in Iraq discussing whether to include politicians in interim Iraqi government

AFGHANISTAN

  • Explosion hits election workers’ car in eastern Afghanistan, injuring driver
  • Taliban kill Afghan soldiers, U.S. troops detain suspects in southeastern Afghanistan, commander says

GEN. JONES

  • A U.S. decision on a shift of forces out of Western Europe is not expected before next year, a German official said Tuesday after talks with NATO’s top commander. U.S. military leaders in Germany have said the changes could begin as early as this summer. But the remark by Baden-Wuerttemberg state governor Erwin Teufel after meeting U.S. Gen. James Jones suggested the process has slowed. “A fundamental decision on the deployment issue therefore is not expected before 2005,” Teufel said in a statement after the meeting in the state capital, Stuttgart. A U.S. Defense Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Teufel’s statement sounded correct. “It’s certainly within the scope of reality, but there is no official timeline associated with it,” the official said. Jones’ office could not immediately be reached for comment. (AP 111636 May 04)

KOSOVO

  • The EU and many Security Council members sent a tough message to Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders following the worst violence in five years: Build a multi-ethnic democracy or the province’s future status won’t be discussed. Harri Holkeri, the top UN official in the province, told the council ethnic Albanian leaders had made “insufficient” progress in meeting the plan’s goals in the key areas of refugee returns, freedom of movement and building multi-ethnic communities. Germany’s UN Ambassador Gunter Pleuger called on political leaders to “break new ground” and encourage their constituents to testify against extremists involved in the March violence, rebuild destroyed communities, and do far more to encourage minority groups to return and to ensure a safe environment for those that come back. (AP 120238 May 04)

IRAQ

  • Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday his top envoy in Iraq is discussing whether to include politicians in an interim government that will take power from the U.S.-led coalition on June 30. UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is currently in Baghdad meeting with a wide range of Iraqis to try to come up with a broadly acceptable caretaker government to oversee the country until elections in January 2005. Annan said he hopes the Iraqis will take on board Brahimi’s suggestion that a caretaker government be composed of “honest and technically qualified persons” who are not going to run for office in the January elections. Brahimi’s discussion Tuesday with al-Hakim, who heads the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, focused on various aspects of the transition “including the importance of the new government having the time to work out its relationship with the occupying power, the armed forces on the ground and the United Nations,” Eckhard said. (AP 112255 May 04)

AFGHANISTAN

  • An explosion hit a car carrying Afghan election workers in eastern Afghanistan, injuring all four people inside, in the latest in a string of incidents marring preparations for the vote in September, UN and Afghan officials said Tuesday. The blast occurred Monday evening near Narang, a town 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital, Kabul, in Kunar province, Kunar Gov. Sayed Fazel Akbar said. Four Afghans who work for the joint UN-Afghan government body organizing the election were injured, two seriously, and their vehicle “was totally wrecked,” UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York. The UN has vowed to press ahead with registering voters for planned September elections, despite the recent attacks on its staff. Some 2 million of an estimated 10 million eligible Afghans have signed up so far. (AP 112252 May 04)

  • Taliban guerrillas killed two Afghan soldiers Tuesday on the country's U.S.-funded highway in a troubled southeastern province where American troops continue to arrest suspected militants, a senior Afghan commander said. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David Barno, said Tuesday that American-led operations against militants would be "relentless," vowing to safeguard painstaking reconstruction efforts and protect national elections planned for September. (AP 111838 May 04)

 



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