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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 05:09 GMT 06:09 UK
More powers for Dostum
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appointed the powerful northern commander, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, as his special advisor on security and military affairs.

The decree announcing the move says General Dostum has been appointed to improve the security situation in the north - which has been beset by factional fighting.

General Dostum, who is also deputy defence minister, will help with the demilitarisation of factional armies.

Correspondents say the appointment can be seen as an attempt to enhance the authority of the central government in the north.

The move follows a crisis meeting in Kabul on Tuesday when Mr Karzai threatened to dissolve the government if the provincial leaders did not agree to hand over their customs revenue to the Kabul authorities.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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