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December 21, 2001
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UN Security Council votes to establish multinational force for Kabul

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to establish a multinational peace keeping force in Kabul and surrounding areas.

The resolution does not mention the number but Britain says that the ultimate strength is likely to be between 3,000 and 5000.

The force, which diplomats said will comprise several thousand from Britain, France and several other NATO states, will begin deployment on Saturday with an initial deployment of British troops.

The force has been authorized under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, which allows it to use force if necessary.

The initial authorization is for six months, which was pressed by Russia. The council could extend the mandate beyond that date but that would require another resolution.

"We are moving visibly and in concrete terms in working with the new authority to provide a future for Afghanistan," Britain's representative at the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock said.

The unanimous approval for the force came two day before an advance guard of some 250 British marines is due to land in Kabul.

The peacekeepers would work in close cooperation and coordination with the interim government even though is slowly becoming clear that Afghans are against any large-scale foreign presence.

Reports from Afghanistan quote Interim Defence Minister Mohammed Fahim as saying the presence would be symbolic and only 1000 troops would be involved in peacekeeping even though the strength might rise to 3,000.

PTI

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External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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