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Annan Warns of Afghanistan Security 'Gap' - 2002-04-05

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed concerns about the security situation in Afghanistan. But Mr. Annan has told the Security Council there are also reasons for encouragement.

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard says Mr. Annan expressed concern about "the security gap" in Afghanistan. That is, the transitional phase between the security force that exists now - which relies heavily on international peacekeepers - and what will exist when Afghans have created their own security institutions. During a closed session, Mr. Annan appealed to the Security Council to bridge the gap.

Mr. Eckhard says the Secretary-General is encouraged by the security situation in Kabul as it now stands.

"He noted that security in Kabul had improved significantly due to the deployment of the international security assistance force, and that 90 percent of the city's residents are happy about the force's presence in the Afghan capital," he said.

Mr. Annan urged all parties to do everything in their power to achieve that same state of security elsewhere in the country, and asked donor nations to commit more funding to that end.