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Afghan armed groups commit to peace

Feuding armed groups in North Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif have agreed to exit the city and leave security to the police.

Last Modified: 31 May 2003 17:07 GMT

Feuding armed groups in North Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif have agreed to exit the city and leave security to the police.

 

Dostum(L) and Atta: 
A step towards peace

Peace-maker British ambassador Ron Nash at a meeting on Saturday called on the rival groups to leave Mazar-e-Sharif, a local official said.

 

The participants, including leaders of the armed groups, agreed that police should take charge of security in the city, the official said.

 

Nash held the meeting with the governors of the northern provinces of Balkh, Faryab, Samangan, Jawzjan. 

 

Deputy Defence Minister and warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum and the army's 7th corps commander Mohammad Atta were also in attendance.

 

Afghan's third largest city, Mazar-e-Sharif, has seen violent clashes among the various groups in recent weeks leaving 12 dead.

 

The meeting warlords decided that militiamen should leave and police should take over security, said Ishaq Rahguzar, governor of Balkh which includes Mazar-e-Sharif.

  

The groups agreed to let four Kabul police officers work with an equal number of local men in each of the city's police stations.

  

The Jamiat, led by Mohammad and the Uzbek Jumbesh group, led by former communist general Dostum, have been fighting for control of Mazar-e-Sharif.

  

A third faction, the Hazara Shia community's Hezb-i-Wahdat group, is also vying for control in the region.

  

President Hamid Karzai's government is due to start disarming an estimated 100,000 members of the various armed groups in the coming months. They will be reintegrated into the nascent national army or trained for other jobs.

  

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