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UN in Afghanistan Says It Is Different from US, Cares for Freezing Kids

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 20 -- Since Jan Kubis took over as the UN's top envoy in Afghanistan, corpses have been urinated on, Korans burned and most recently 16 civilians shot and killed by a US soldier now back in Kansas. That is to say, it is not an easy environment for a diplomatic mission into which previously New York based UN official Nicholas Haysom now flies as Kubis' deputy.

  Inner City Press asked Kubis on Tuesday about Hamid Karzai's statement that American troops should remain in their bases, and his government's complaint that the US has not cooperated with its investigation of the killing of civilians.

  Kubis replied that these are bilateral matters between Afghanistan and the US, or ISAF -- he emphasized that these are different from the UN, though both ISAF and UNAMA were mandated by the same body, the UN Security Council, and have "the same objectives."

  Inner City Press asked Kubis about the plight of internally displaced Afghans, including some 28 children who froze to death this winter in camps around Kabul. Kubis responded that both the UN and the Afghan government jumped to respond to that; he said that the "root causes" of displacement have to be addressed.

  He acknowledged that drug cultivation has increased, without answering Inner City Press' question about how this could be, given the "robust" international presence.

  Finally, Inner City Press asked Kubis about the idea of a Security Council visit to Afghanistan. He said it is up to the Council, which has made no decision.

  Kubis said he would welcome such a trip, after the NATO summit in Chicago and Tokyo ministerial. Occupy will be waiting for NATO, but no longer the G-8, in Chicago. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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