11/05/2009, 00.00
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Afghanistan: UN evacuates 600 staff for security reasons

The decision follows the bloody attack by the Taliban on October 28 last that killed six employees of the United Nations. UN has about 5 thousand employees in the country, 3700 local staff.

Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United Nations has evacuated 600 members of international staff from Afghanistan for security reasons. The decision comes after the Taliban bloody attack that hit the UN headquarters in Kabul on 28 October, killing six employees.

To date, the United Nations international staff in Afghanistan numbers 1300 persons, plus 3700 local employees. The 600 evacuees will account for 12% of its total staff in the country.  

The United Nations provides that "the evacuees will return [to the country] as soon as possible, as soon as a security is re-established and solutions found for their protection". Confirming "a full commitment to helping the people of Afghanistan," the UN mission guarantees its "effort to minimize the suspension of activity pending the implementation of additional measures of security."

Local commentators say that the choice of the UN reaffirms the dangerous direction that the country is taking. The presidential elections and scams, the run-off announced and then cancelled, widespread poverty and insecurity have undermined the already fragile reputation enjoyed by the Kabul government, international organizations and foreign contingents. According to local experts the entire country should be the subject of quality reconstruction, which embraces the social fabric, local authroities, schools, roads and hospitals.


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