AFGHANISTAN DAILY NEWS BULLETIN 5/2/2014
Compiled by the embassy of afghanistan in canada
In this Bulletin:
- More than 2,000 trapped under Afghan landslide: local official
- IEC: Run-Off Likely in Elections
- Security Forces Confident Heading Into Summer
- Presidential Palace Prepares for Transition of Power
- Afghanistan: UN mission condemns suicide attack in Panjshir province
- Ending Afghanistan’s Drug Addiction Is Looking Like ‘Mission Implausible’
[Disclaimer: The content of this news bulletin does not necessarily reflect the view or policy of the Afghan Government, unless specifically stated as such. The collection of articles and commentaries from Afghan and international news sources is provided for informational purposes, and accuracy of the news is the responsibility of the original source.]
More than 2,000 trapped under Afghan landslide: local official
(Reuters, 2 May 2014 - More than 2,000 people remain trapped under a landslide that smashed into a village in a remote mountainous area of northeastern Afghanistan on Friday, a spokesman for the local governor said.
"There were more than 1,000 families living in that village," Naweed Forotan, a spokesman for the Badakhshan governor, told Reuters. "A total of 2,100 people, men, women and children are trapped."
A senior police official earlier said up to 500 people were missing, believed dead.
IEC: Run-Off Likely in Elections
TOLO News 2 May 2014- The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has reported that preparations have been completed to conduct a second round of elections. However, the IEC awaits the Electoral Complaints Commission's (ECC) completed investigation on the invalidated votes and issue the final verdict.
The head of IEC Chief Secretariat, Zia-ul-haq Amarkhail, stated that assessments on the 444 polling centers are underway and the outcomes of the recounting and assessments will be shared with the ECC within two days.
"In technical perspectives and on the basis of the statistics, figures and results there is a possibility of a run-off, on condition that complaints and criticisms are investigated," Amarkhail said. "We believe that elections might go to a run-off, but we still have to wait for the final decision of the ECC."
The ballots from the 525 polling sites that was announced voided by the IEC was also invalidated by the ECC.
Security Forces Confident Heading Into Summer
TOLO News 2 May 2014- The advent of summer in Afghanistan has become synonymous with the start of fighting season, with the annual weather change ushering in a surge in militant activities. However, after the widely acclaimed success of their first year in the lead of security operations around the country, as well as a surprisingly smooth Election Day last month, the Afghan security forces enter this summer with confidence, despite the continued uncertainty surrounding the country's future.
April 5 came and went will very few incidents of violence, after the Taliban had stepped-up a campaign of attacks and propaganda in attempt to derail the elections process in the weeks prior. However, with a likely runoff round scheduled for early June, there remains anxiety that the Taliban will take a second go at it.
Afghan forces proved themselves to be more capable than ever before this past year. But they still suffered immense casualties, and faced challenges with equipment and logistical management. With NATO troops preparing to withdraw by December, and the future of the alliance's involvement in Afghanistan still uncertain, the pressure to get things right this year only seems greater.
Presidential Palace Prepares for Transition of Power
TOLO News 1 May 2014- The Presidential Palace stated in a press release that it is undertaking necessary measures for transition of power from President Hamid Karzai to the next democratically elected president.
President Karzai has met with the two leading presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and government officials regarding the inauguration ceremony.
Government officials at the meeting included: Lower House Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi; Upper House Speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar; First Vice President Younus Qanuni; Second Vice President Karim Khalili and Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi.
The meeting was organized on Thursday at the Presidential Palace where government officials decided to form a special commission for the day of inauguration under the leadership of the Council of Ministers, Office of Administrative Affairs and the Council of Ministers Secretariat.
Afghanistan: UN mission condemns suicide attack in Panjshir province
2 May 2014 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has strongly condemned the suicide car bombing which took place yesterday in the central eastern province of Panjshir, killing at least 15 people – including seven civilians.
“The killing of civilians is reprehensible and should be roundly condemned,” Mark Bowden, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA, said of the incident, in which more than a dozen people were also injured, including civilians, with casualties expected to rise in the coming days.
According to reports, a car laden with explosives detonated at a security check-point at an entrance to the province on Thursday afternoon. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on their website, UNAMA said in a statement issued today in Kabul.
“Indiscriminate attacks which kill and injure civilians may amount to war crimes and are serious breaches of international humanitarian law which binds all parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan” Mr. Bowden added.
Ending Afghanistan’s Drug Addiction Is Looking Like ‘Mission Implausible’
TIME, 2 May 2014- The Pentagon watchdog overseeing American efforts in Afghanistan says that the country’s booming opium industry is enjoying unprecedented growth that will fuel Taliban insurgents and challenge the government in Kabul
As U.S. troops continue to pull out of Afghanistan, the country’s booming poppy crops and the opium they yield have reached unprecedented levels that will fuel Taliban insurgents and challenge the government in Kabul, the Pentagon watchdog overseeing Afghanistan says.
“We don’t really have an effective strategy” to counter Afghanistan’s expanding narcotics industry, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said in an interview Thursday. “Cultivation is up, drug usage is up, production is up, seizures are down, eradication is down, corruption is up—if you look at all those indices, it’s a failure.” And the U.S. is running out of time to change course.
Political and Media Officer
Embassy of Afghanistan in Canada