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Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 07:49 GMT
UN passes resolution on Afghan rule
Northern Alliance forces on a tank in the streets of Kabul
Military events have outpaced political planning
By United Nations correspondent Greg Barrow

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a new resolution supporting efforts to form a broad-based multi-ethnic government in Afghanistan.

Lakhdar Brahimi
Brahimi: Looking for broad-based government
The resolution calls on all Afghan parties involved in efforts to form a new government to accept an invitation from the UN special representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, to attend a UN conference aimed at putting these plans into place.

This would be the first step towards finding what Mr Brahimi has called a home-grown solution to Afghanistan's problems.

But there is clearly concern about the rapid pace at which events are unfolding on the ground in Afghanistan.

Stabilisation forces

The UN resolution addresses this in its final paragraph, where it encourages member states to support efforts to ensure the safety and security of areas of Afghanistan that are no longer under Taleban control.

While not explicitly mandating foreign military intervention, this is seen by diplomats as opening the door to forces from the US-led coalition in the region.

Children fight for a blanket after looting a warehouse in Kabul
Kabul residents fight for precious supplies
The UK has already put several thousand troops on standby.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said UN personnel would begin returning to Kabul on Friday, and as the UN had no military presence on the ground, he said, it had to rely on those already there.

The initial role of these forces, likely in the first instance to come from the US and the UK, would be to protect civilians.

They would also provide stability for any transitional authorities and provide security for international aid workers bringing assistance to the Afghan people.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Professor Fred Halliday, London School of Economics
"It is possible to form a broad-based government in the next few weeks"
See also:

15 Nov 01 | South Asia
Taleban leader remains defiant
14 Nov 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden 'safe inside Afghanistan'
14 Nov 01 | South Asia
Tense tales of Kandahar power struggle
14 Nov 01 | UK
British troops on standby
14 Nov 01 | South Asia
Concern over Afghan massacre reports
14 Nov 01 | South Asia
UN opens new aid route
14 Nov 01 | South Asia
Q&A: What next for Afghan diplomacy?
13 Nov 01 | South Asia
Analysis: The Taleban collapse
15 Nov 01 | South Asia
Western aid workers released
13 Nov 01 | South Asia
UN envoy outlines vision for Kabul
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