Afghanistan

Afghan Government begins disbanding of illegal armed groups - UN

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As programs for disarming the regular military are completed in Afghanistan, the Government has announced the official start of a program to disband illegal armed groups, to be carried out with the support of the international community, including the United Nations.

According the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the program, known as the "Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups" (DIAG), will represent the next crucial step in the disarming of all irregular forces in Afghanistan. It coincides with the completion of the first two parts of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme.

The number of Afghan military personnel disarmed through that program topped 60,000 today, UNMA said, with over 50,000 demobilized and nearly as many entering programs to reintegrate them into civil society.

"We are grateful with all those who cooperated with DDR, especially the commanders, Filippo Grandi, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan (DSRSG), said Afghanistan's Vice-President Khalili, launching the programme this past Saturday.

"The struggle is now to make renewed efforts to build a prosperous and democratic country. This will need the cooperation of all the people of Afghanistan, he added."

Mr. Grandi, as well as the Vice-President, also reminded electoral candidates who have been deemed to have links with illegal armed groups that weapons collection sites are being set up in all provinces. Notified candidates will have until the end of June to consign weapons to those sites, in order to comply with the electoral law.

As provided by the Electoral Law, as well as the political Code of Conduct and the declaration signed by candidates when they filed their nomination documents, candidates are prohibited to participate in the electoral process if they have links to illegal armed groups.