Kai Eide appointed as UN Special Representative; Reports of collateral damage due to ISAF activities, denied by ISAF; Australia not to send more troops until NATO adopts a winning strategy
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  • Secretary General Ban ki-Moon appointed Kai Eide of Norway as the UN’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. The earlier nomination of British politician Paddy Ashdown fell through with reports indicating that President Karzai was opposed to his appointment. Mr. Eide was expected to coordinate international aid activities among other responsibilities.

    Meanwhile, reports of collateral damages due to coalition activities continued with Afghan officials reporting that over 50 people (including 18 Taliban insurgents) were killed in ISAF raids on March 17 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan1. The ISAF however denied the claim. 6 civilians were also reported killed in the Khost province during the week in NATO operations.

    In other developments, Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon speaking in Canberra stated that Australia would not contribute more troops to the effort in Afghanistan until NATO adopted a winning strategy. He however clarified that Canberra was committed to a long-term strategy for the country. A non-NATO country, Australia had about 1,000 troops operating along with IASF forces in south-central Afghanistan2.