UN-Assisted Commission begins Disarmament of Flashpoint Region
A United Nations-assisted security commission has left on a mission to disarm a northern region of Afghanistan that has been a flashpoint for tensions between rival militias.
The delegation of the Mazar Multi Party Security Commission, including representatives of the Jamiat, Jumbesh and Hizb-e-Wahdat militias and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), left the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for the Sholgara sector on Saturday for the operation, which is expected to last two to three days, a mission spokesman said in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Under the Commission plan, all military weapons are to be surrendered for storage and security in the respective military units in Mazar. While personal weapons can be retained by their rightful owners, they must be registered. Any illegal weapons found after the disarmament operation will be confiscated by the police and their holders arrested.
UNAMA has helped the Commission broker truces in several areas of northern Afghanistan recently. In April it helped end a spate of deadly violence between the warring factions in the northern city of Maimana.
[Source: UN News Service, NY, 18aug03]
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