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UN Extends Mandate of International Afghan Security Force - 2002-05-23


The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to extend the international force in Afghanistan for another six months. But, Council members did not heed calls to expand the force to areas outside of the capital city of Kabul.

The United Nations does not control the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. But the Security Council must authorize the 19-nation force in order to give the troops legitimacy.

The troops essentially guard Kabul and the interim government of Prime Minister Hamid Karzai, who has asked to have the force expanded to other major cities.

By passing the U.S.-sponsored resolution, the Security Council has rebuffed the request.

Turkey is taking over the command of the 4,600 troops June 20 from the British on the condition that the force is not expanded.

The resolution acknowledges that the "situation in Afghanistan still constitutes a threat to international peace and security." But the resolution also says providing law and order throughout the country is the responsibility of the Afghans themselves.

Afghanistan says it needs about $300 million to build a national army and air force. Britain, France, Germany and the United States are among the nations committed to creating and training an Afghan army, a police force and drug interdiction agents.

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