Skip to main content /WORLD /WORLD


U.N. Security Council passes Afghanistan resolution

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- With events in Afghanistan rapidly unfolding, U.N. Security Council members unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday warning anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan against revenge killings and detailing the "central role" for the U.N. in helping set up a transitional Afghan government .

A day after he laid out a potential political and security road map for Afghanistan, the U.N.'s Afghan envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, told Security Council members that events are happening so quickly in Afghanistan that the situation there is quite confusing.

He urged council members to move quickly to put support behind a plan for the next steps, according to diplomats.

Brahimi also told council members he is concerned "unfortunate things" had happened in Mazar-e Sharif since the Northern Alliance entered that city. There have been various reports about revenge killings there and in other locations.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the reports, but Western officials who have daily contact with personnel in Mazar-e Sharif told CNN that the majority of those killed are Pakistani and Kashmiri fighters as well as family members of Chechen fighters who have sided with the Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Western officials say about 100 men are in custody.

In Rome, Mohammed Zahir Shah, Afghanistan's exiled king, issued a statement Wednesday urging Afghans to respect one another's individual rights.

"I urge you to safeguard life, property and also to be vigilant in preventing foreign designs from inflicting more harm on our people," he said.

Deposed Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani also was expected to return to Kabul Wednesday. Rabbani, the political leader of the Northern Alliance, is still recognized by the United Nations and most countries as Afghanistan's president. He was deposed by the Taliban in 1996.

On Tuesday, Brahimi announced his intention to gather the various Afghan political factions together as quickly as possible to form a transitional government. Brahimi has stressed that this transitional government must be "home grown" and not a U.N. administration, or with any other group of experts "parachuted in."

Brahimi told the council Wednesday that he hopes a meeting will take place in the Middle East or possibly Geneva.

After the council session, he would not confirm reports that the meeting might be in the United Arab Emirates. Brahimi said he hoped the Northern Alliance would participate in the talks.

'We have to avoid a political vacuum'

Javier Solana, the European Union's international policy chief, said the goal of the meeting is to create a temporary government representing various ethnic groups until a constitutional government could be formed.

"We have to avoid a political vacuum," Solana said. He said he is not concerned that the Northern Alliance might refuse to share power. "I think we are working in the right direction."

The U.N. also is working to get Brahimi's deputy, Francesc Vendrell, and a U.N. humanitarian coordinator, Michael Sackett, into Kabul as soon as security conditions permit.

While efforts continue on the political future for Afghanistan, discussions are under way among nations to sort out what type of security force might go into Afghanistan to shore up conditions for the transitional government.

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock described the shaping of a security force as an "evolving, interchanging, interplaying security provision from outside that works alongside with the Afghan forces that are already making gains there."

Thousands of British troops are on 48-hour standby for possible duty in Kabul and other newly captured cities in Afghanistan, the British Ministry of Defense said Wednesday. The troops would act as a stabilizing force as the United Nations helps create a temporary government and agencies launch their humanitarian operations, the ministry added.

The troops, who will monitor the Afghan capital and Mazar-e Sharif, will work separately from 4,200 British personnel -- mostly naval and support units -- already involved in the war in Afghanistan.

CNN Producer Liz Neisloss contributed to this report


See related sites about World
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



Back to the top