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31 May 2007 description

IN THIS ISSUE:

- 91 people killed or injured in suicide attacks

- Hostages released

- NGO staff member shot dead

- Mullah Dadullah is killed

- Meshrano Jirga calls for "direct negotiations" with the Taliban

- Iran deports over 85,000 Afghans

- 83 civilians reported killed in operations by the US military

Security

Terrorist attacks carried out during May, in the context of the ongoing insurgency, would appear to have been targeted at the full cross-section of those associated with the international presence, including government officials, …

31 May 2007 description

This week in Kabul 3,500 trained vaccinators and volunteers are conducting the final round of a campaign against measles and tetanus that has been rolling across the country since August 2006.

In an impressive move, the joint campaign brings the vaccine to prevent tetanus in newborns and mothers right to the homes of the families who need it - involving "house-to-house" visits by teams of health workers.

31 May 2007 description
report Frontier Post

KABUL (PAN): The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) Management Committee has approved a $90 million grant for the Afghan governments flagship initiative called the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). $60 million of the grant will be made available immediately while the remaining $30 million will be disbursed in coming months for NSP - one of the five rural development initiatives that form the backbone of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD).

31 May 2007 description

Twin surgeons from New York City depart June 1 for Kabul hospital

(PORTLAND, ORE. - May 31, 2007) Amid rising volatility in the region, two physicians with Medical Teams International are headed to Kabul, Afghanistan to treat Afghan children suffering from landmine blasts and other traumatic injuries. The New York City twin surgeons-a cardiologist and an urologist- are making their second trip to the country in 17 months.

Drs.

31 May 2007 description

Kabul, 31 May 2007. The European Union (EU) is providing € 10 million for the development of seed industry in Afghanistan. The project is being implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). It has brought together 15 community-based private enterprises from across Afghanistan in a 6-day travelling work from 15th May 2007 to 20th May 2007, which took participants on a tour of seed activities, growing crops and facilities in Balkh, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar provinces.

31 May 2007 description

Education

The U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) promotes stability and positive participation in the global community through expanded, high-quality education. Adequate investments in education lead to the achievement of most of the other development goals and increase the probability that progress will be sustained. Education enhances the future of children and youth, as they prepare to participate in society and the economy.

31 May 2007 description

POLITICAL

The situation in Afghanistan remains unstable and insecure. Following its formation in March, the heterogeneous United National Front (UNF; Jabhe-ye-Motahed-e-Milli) has announced its major demands: a change from the presidential to a parliamentary system, proportional voting in elections, election of provincial governors, coordination of activities of foreign troops and Afghan security forces (thus "legalizing" their presence), recognition of the Durand Line, and talks with armed groups (e.g. moderate Taliban).

31 May 2007 description
report IRIN

KABUL, 31 May 2007 (IRIN) - Forty students of a girls' high school in Takhar Province, northeastern Afghanistan, have been admitted to hospital after drinking water from a contaminated well, local authorities said.

"Twenty-five students have been hospitalised at Farkhar hospital and 15 have been sent to Taloqan [provincial capital] hospital where more facilities are available," Abdul Hakim Aziz, head of Takhar's health department, said on Wednesday.

In total 61 students reported sick on 28 May after the incident in Farkhar District.

31 May 2007 description

Kabul, 31 May 2007 - H.E. Mr. Mohammad Housain Anwary, the Governor of the province of Herat, has donated land to 87 deminers who were the victims of mine accidents. Governor Anwary, who signed the official documents yesterday, said that he wanted to honor the important work of the deminers in Afghanistan.

"Demining is really a continuation of Jihad," he said. "Jihad doesn't only mean fighting and having weapons.

30 May 2007 description
report G8

G8 Foreign Ministers met in Potsdam on 30 May to discuss a range of global and regional issues. The meeting focussed on Kosovo, the situation in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Sudan and Iran as well as North Korea. We met with Foreign Minister Kasuri of Pakistan and Foreign Minister Spanta of Afghanistan to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, cooperation between their countries and how the G8 can support such cooperation. On this subject, we issued a joint statement with our colleagues from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

30 May 2007 description
report European Union

10212/07 (Presse 124)

The Council adopted today a joint action on the EU Police Mission in Afghanistan - EUPOL Afghanistan.

The mission aims at contributing to the establishment of sustainable and effective civilian policing arrangements under Afghan ownership which will ensure appropriate interaction with the wider criminal justice system. It will also support the reform process towards a trusted and efficient police service which works in accordance with international standards.

30 May 2007 description
report G8

May 30, 2007, Potsdam

1. The Foreign Ministers of the G8, Afghanistan and Pakistan came together today to reiterate their strong commitment to security, stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. They recalled the commitments made in the Afghanistan Compact in January 2006. Continued support of the international community to the region is a vital element in the global fight against terrorism and for the promotion of freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, and economic growth and opportunity.

2.

30 May 2007 description
report Frontier Post

PANJSHER CITY/KABUL/ZARANJ (PAN): A US-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), based in the northern Panjsher province, has launched the construction of two schools and a bridge in Paryan district. Maulana Abdul Rahman Kabiri, deputy governor of Panjsher, told Pajhwok Afghan News the high school would cost $ 320,000 and the middle $280,000. The schools, each housing 900 students, will be completed in six months. Either of the single-storeyed school would have 21 rooms.

30 May 2007 description
report IRIN

KABUL, 30 May 2007 (IRIN) - Dozens of commercial trucks carrying World Food Programme (WFP) food aid to vulnerable communities in different locations in Afghanistan have been attacked by armed men over the past few months, the UN agency said on Wednesday.

Over 500 tonnes of food aid worth about US$350,000 has been lost in some 20 attacks to date, according to WFP.

"The increasing frequency of these attacks has become a huge concern for us," Rick Corsino, WFP's representative for Afghanistan, told IRIN in Kabul.

The most recent incident took place on 24 May …

30 May 2007 description

KHAVARAN, Iran, May 30 (UNHCR) - Afghans in Iran have at least three ways of going back home - assisted voluntary repatriation, spontaneous return and deportation. But at Khavaran Departure Centre just outside the Iranian capital, Tehran, the paths sometimes converge.

On one end of the centre, families load their worldly possessions onto a container truck, bidding tearful farewells to friends and relatives.

30 May 2007 description

Kabul, 30 May 2007 - With reference to recent questions regarding food assistance to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, WFP states the following:

Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest countries, is also among the most challenging for WFP operations anywhere across the globe. The effects of two decades of war and civil unrest have been compounded by recurring natural disasters, including severe droughts, floods and harsh winters.

Access and movement has been fiercely restricted by growing insecurity, particularly in the south and east of the country.

29 May 2007 description

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, May 29 (UNHCR) - Better understanding of the refugee situation in Pakistan and management of population movements topped the agenda during a recent visit by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to witness the Afghan repatriation from north-western Pakistan.

Steinmeier and his delegation visited Afghanistan and Pakistan last week in preparation for the June 6-8 meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized nations and upcoming European Union (EU) foreign minister meetings in Germany.

29 May 2007 description
report IRIN

KABUL, 29 May 2007 (IRIN) - The increasing number of civilian causalities in the armed conflict in Afghanistan has prompted the UN to set up a database of information on non-combatants affected by the insurgency.

"The database will be similar to the one already used by the UN in Iraq," Javier Leon Diaz, a UN human rights expert in Afghanistan, told IRIN on Monday.

In the first four months of 2007 alone, up to 380 civilians were killed in military operations by all sides in Afghanistan, the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

Monitoring the …

29 May 2007 description

IOM has donated 130 tents to house vulnerable Afghan families forced to return home from Iran.

The tents have been sent to the western provinces of Farah and Nimroz and will be erected on land belonging to host families overburdened by the sheer number of returnees.

The agency has also begun assisting returnee families who have reached Kabul by providing blankets and medical assistance.