“Eide must step down” / News / The Foreigner

“Eide must step down”. Report claims Afghan confidence eroded. In the fallout of controversy surrounding the recent Afghan presidential elections, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has called for the resignation of the Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide – head of the UN’s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). No confidence As well as recommending that a non-partisan committee be formed to investigate what is deemed to be widespread election fraud – where Hamid Karzai won a hotly-disputed second term of office – the ICG’s report, released yesterday in Kabul, reveals that poll results show Afghan confidence in Eide has been severely eroded.

kai, eide, un, unama, report, icg, international, crisis, group, united, nations, assistance, mission, afghanistan, elections, hamid, karzai, peter, galbraith, norway



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“Eide must step down”

Published on Friday, 27th November, 2009 at 05:30 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 14th December 2009 at 09:19.

Report claims Afghan confidence eroded.

Press conference 11.10 UN SRSG Kai Eide
Press conference 11.10 UN SRSG Kai Eide
Photo: Jawad Jalali/UNAMA


In the fallout of controversy surrounding the recent Afghan presidential elections, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has called for the resignation of the Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide – head of the UN’s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

No confidence

As well as recommending that a non-partisan committee be formed to investigate what is deemed to be widespread election fraud – where Hamid Karzai won a hotly-disputed second term of office – the ICG’s report, released yesterday in Kabul, reveals that poll results show Afghan confidence in Eide has been severely eroded.

“If UNAMA’s credibility is to be restored, Eide must step down…since he has lost the confidence of many on his staff and the necessary trust of many parts of the Afghan polity,” they write.

“Disinterested”

In the report, Candace Rondeaux – a senior ICG analyst – writes that she believes the fact that Karzai is still in power, despite what has happened, “has bolstered the impression that the international community is disinterested in or incapable of checking corruption... It has handed the Taliban a huge public relations victory.”

Furthermore, the ICG also believes that Eide, the Special Representative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (SRSG), did nothing to investigate either “repeated abuses of power by the Karzai campaign”, or “the lack of transparency in the (electoral) process.”

Endangered

Peter W. Galbraith arrives in Kabul
Peter W. Galbraith arrives in Kabul
Fardin Waezi/UNAMA
The report deems Eide’s connections to Karzai to be “too close”, resulting in the resignations of three of the UNAMA’s senior officials, and with Eide having seriously compromised the UN’s mission of bringing stability to Afghanistan. Doubts have also been raised as to Eide’s effectiveness as head of the mission.

Both the resignations and endangering the mission stem from a public dispute between Eide and his now sacked deputy, and former U.S. diplomat Peter Galbraith. Eide is reported to have acknowledged the implications of their quarrel, saying in an interview on 06 October by the ICG in Kabul that

“This debate has had implications for the security of our staff and my security especially and for [Galbraith’s] security should he return say for a couple of days. It has jeopardised the stability of the country”.

Clean-up operation

But whatever happens regarding Eide’s resignation there will have to be reforms, not only in an effort to restore confidence in the international community, but to rid Afghanistan of political corruption.

The ICG recommends that a "loya jirga" is convened – a grand assembly summoned to adopt constitutional reforms – and that

“The U.S., the EU and the UN in particular, must insist on restrictions on the size of the cabinet, along with thorough vetting of cabinet and provincial governor appointees to exclude candidates with demonstrated links to armed groups or criminal activities.”

In addition, if nothing is done, recent events may have repercussions on Obama’s new military strategy.

“Impending decisions about military strategy, troop levels and state-building concepts may mean little if we do not cauterize the damage from these fraudulent elections inflicted on Afghanistan. Only thorough reform can do that," says Samina Ahmed, ICG’s South Asia project director.




Published on Friday, 27th November, 2009 at 05:30 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 14th December 2009 at 09:19.

This post has the following tags: kai, eide, un, unama, report, icg, international, crisis, group, united, nations, assistance, mission, afghanistan, elections, hamid, karzai, peter, galbraith, norway.





  
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