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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 21:31 GMT 22:31 UK
Afghan woman minister warns UN
Peacekeeping soldier in Kabul, Afghanistan
Samar warned Afghanistan is still under threat
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By Greg Barrow
BBC United Nations correspondent
line
Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs, Sima Samar, has appealed to the UN Security Council to authorise the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul and across the country.


Another period of violence will... risk the money and support that has been invested already in support of the peace process

Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs, Sima Samar
In her first ever address to the council, she said that unless the international community took steps to increase security in Afghanistan, all of the gains of the past few months would be placed in jeopardy.

The mere fact that a female Afghan minister could address the UN Security Council would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.

But it is a sign of Afghanistan's progress that Mrs Samar, one of the most senior women in the transitional Afghan administration, was able to come to New York and to speak to the diplomats who backed the UN's plans for nurturing peace and stability in the country.

Warning

Mrs Samar thanked the Security Council members for their help.

Sima Samar
Samar: History should not be allowed to repeat itself in Afghanistan

But she also warned them that all that has been achieved in Afghanistan could come under threat, if the international community continues to ignore calls to expand the ISAF.

"We are told that an expansion of peacekeeping forces is too expensive," she said.

"But another cycle of war will pose an even greater expense to the world. It will be costly in terms of the loss of human life (and) another period of violence will also risk the money and support that has been invested already in support of the peace process."

History, she said, should not be allowed to repeat itself in Afghanistan.

Although council members are well aware of the precarious nature of Afghanistan's peace, few troop-contributing nations have shown any appetite for expanding the role of foreign armies.

Instead, they are hoping it will be possible to train Afghans to do the job themselves.

See also:

25 Apr 02 | South Asia
Kabul repatriates Pakistani POWs
06 Dec 01 | South Asia
Profile: Sima Samar
08 Mar 02 | South Asia
Afghans celebrate women's day
20 Apr 02 | South Asia
Last Marines arrive in Afghanistan
12 Apr 02 | UK Politics
UK troops stretched to limit
19 Apr 02 | UK Politics
Hoon denies Afghan mission creep
14 Apr 02 | South Asia
UN refugee chief visits Afghanistan
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