Great Britain is to be at the head of a peacemaking contingent in Afghanistan. By giving his consent to it, the defense secretary involved the country into the venture. Moreover, the status of peacekeepers has not yet been defined. There are apprehensions that the peacekeeping operation may cause conflicts with the USA and troubles in Afghanistan.
Geoff Hoon admits that the international contingent headed by General John McColl is undertaking the hard and dangerous task of keeping order in Kabul. The territory is controlled by several armed groups.
One hundred of British peacekeepers are in Afghanistan already. They arrive in Kabul on Saturday, when the interim administration adjures. The main part of the peacekeeping forces will arrive in Afghanistan not earlier than December 28.
Earlier, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said that 1500 British peacekeepers would be at the head of the peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. The total number of peacekeepers will make up from three to five thousand people; they will stay in the country, in Kabul mostly, for at least 3 months.
But the local disposition to the peacekeeping contingent does not guarantee a complete control over the situation in the country. Mazar-e-Shafir, Kandahar, Jalalabad, and other cities will be controlled by the Northern Alliance and pushtun tribes. American troops are more likely to be stationed near Kandahar only. This means that the peacemaking mission will be present in Kabul only.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/20/34984.html