Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ANALYSIS: “Flawed” peace strategy in Afghanistan

KABUL, 31 May 2010 (IRIN) - As hundreds of delegates from across Afghanistan arrive in Kabul for a three-day meeting to discuss the prospects for peace, experts are warning of major flaws and risks in the government’s draft peace plan. Making peace with the Taliban will be the main issue for discussion at the Consultative Peace Jirga (assembly) but no insurgent representative has been invited. About 1,500 delegates, handpicked by the government, will assemble under a large German-donated tent in Kabul on 2-4 June to endorse President Hamid Karzai’s plans for a much-desired reconciliation with the armed opposition.

Karzai says he needs advice from delegates on how to curb the Taliban insurgency. Many donors and the UN have endorsed Karzai’s overtures of peace with the Taliban, who were toppled by a US-led military intervention in late 2001.
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NEPAL: Water crisis intensifies

KATHMANDU, 31 May 2010 (IRIN) - Access to safe drinking water is deteriorating across parts of Nepal, activists say, despite the prevailing monsoon season from May until September.

According to the
Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users Nepal, a national network advocating water and sanitation rights, half the country now faces drinking water shortages.

Although a study has yet to be conducted on the current scenario, water experts claim more than 20 districts in both the hills and Terai areas of the country have been badly affected.

“This situation could affect a large number of families who have already been reeling under the immense water shortage situation over the last many years,” Ajaya Dixit, director of the
Nepal Water Conservation Foundation told IRIN. Read more