UN envoy disappointed over EU role in Afghanistan
The United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan aired disappointment Thursday (Feb. 19) over the European Union’s efforts to train more police officers in Afghanistan and improve Afghanistan’s justice system. “I had hoped the EU would have been more active at an earlier stage,” UN envoy Kai Eide said in an interview Thursday with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
“A year ago they said they would raise the number of police trainers from 200 to 400, but I believe they still have not reached 200,” Eide added.
“It is a pity that the Americans have had to carry the main burden for this too,” he said.
Officials in the council of EU member states, which runs the EU’s mission to train the Afghan police, said that the bloc was currently recruiting police officers for the expanded training force, and hoped to reach the target of 400 trainers by June.
EU member states are making considerable efforts to hit the target, and the council is “very pleased” with their contribution, a council official told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
Afghanistan is one of the issues NATO defence ministers were expected to discuss at a two-day meeting in Poland opening Thursday. Eide, a Norwegian national, was due to attend the Krakow meeting.
The UN envoy said he planned to call for greater coordination between countries contributing forces and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and that Afghanistan’s own considerations should be taken into account.
“Countries often support programmes in what the regard as “their” provinces, where they have deployed forces. They don’t consider if this is in line with Afghan plans,” Eide said.