Magazine article UN Chronicle

Transitional Government Elected. (Peace Watch)

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Transitional Government Elected. (Peace Watch)

Article excerpt

Afghanistan took yet another step towards full-fledged democracy on 24 June, when President Hamid Karzai's new cabinet was sworn in. The swearing-in was the latest in a process begun in early June with the meeting of the Loya Jirga--the tribal grand council--to elect a new leader for the war-devastated country. The Loya Jirga chose Mr. Karzai, who had been serving as the head of the interim government, after more than two decades of war.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, called the conclusion of the Loya Jirga a "crucial milestone" in the Afghanistan peace process. "The very fact that the Loya Jirga took place at all, within the very short deadline set by Bonn, and that it concluded peacefully is quite remarkable", he said, referring to the German city where an agreement on Afghanistan's political transition was brokered by the United Nations.

Mr. Brahimi said that the "enormous confidence" shown in Mr. Karai will enable him to tackle the major challenges that lie ahead, including reconstruction, strengthening the central government, building a national army and police force, disarmament, advancement of women and protection of human rights. …

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