Floods have caused severe damage in several regions, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, namely in the north, northeast, west and central highlands. Deaths have been reported in Faryab, Bamyam, Dai Kundi and Sari-Pul. The U.N. has been conducting rescue operations and sending assessment teams to the affected provinces.
The defense army of the United Kingdom is planning to send more troops to Sangin, an opium-poppy growing area considered as one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan, but also an important commercial and communication point within the Helmand province. The announcement took place in the wake of a bomb explosion at one of the British forces’ 30 bases and checkpoints that killed one soldier.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai will be pursuing a “peace jirga” to promote reintegration and reconciliation with the Taliban. The decision found support at an international conference in London. However, the president is now being criticized for deliberately excluding the participation of Afghan women. Espoused by the U.N. Security Council resolution 1325, the government of Afghanistan should involve women in all peace agreements and conflict resolution.
To stop the recruitment of under-age members into the national police force, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan issued a ban on hiring people below 18 years of age to comply with an executive order of the Interior Ministry. UNAMA upholds this order and hopes that the Defense Ministry will impose a similar prohibition with regard to the army.
Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special representative in Afghanistan, said he deplores the fatal assault on government buildings in the country’s southwest. In a recent attack, a member of the provincial council and three police officers were killed while 11 others were injured.
President Obama called for a respectful treatment of Afghan President Hamid Karzai after his national security team released a round of heavy-handed statements against the Afghan leader. These remarks from the White House have infuriated Karzai, tainting Washington’s relationship with the Afghan leader. Obama considers Karzai as an important partner in the U.S. fight against global terrorism.