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Karzai Appoints 4 New Governors - 2002-07-29


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appointed four new provincial governors in some of the country's most troubled regions.

A spokesman for the president, Fazel Akbar, says the new governors replace leaders who were self-appointed or picked by local leaders during a political vacuum that was created after the fall of the Taleban government.

The four appointed governors are Said Mahmood in Kunar, Mohammad Ibrahim Babakar Khel in Laghman, Munshi Majid in Logar, and Mohammad Omar in Baghlan.

The move is seen as a bid by President Karzai to consolidate power in provinces, where has had trouble maintaining peace and order amid continuing battles for control by local warlords.

The international community has turned down repeated requests by Mr. Karzai for foreign security forces to expand their mandate beyond the capital, Kabul, to help bring stability to the rest of the country.

In another matter, Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah said Sunday the government will sign the international treaty banning anti-personnel mines. Speaking in Kabul at an international conference on banning landmines, Mr. Abdullah said Afghanistan will destroy every landmine in the country, however long it takes. The foreign minister said he expects the Afghan cabinet to approve the treaty Monday.

U.N. officials say as many as 300 people are killed or injured in Afghanistan each month by mines and other unexploded munitions left over from the country's many wars.

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