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2014年9月25日 (木)

アフガン新政権 挙国一致で治安を確保せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ghani will be tested on multiple fronts in newly unified Afghanistan
アフガン新政権 挙国一致で治安を確保せよ

The international community must be persistent in providing aid to Afghanistan if it wants to prevent the nation from reverting to its former status as a hotbed of terrorism.

Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani has been declared the winner of the nation’s presidential election and is expected to take the helm of the government as early as next week.

In the June run-off vote, Ghani clinched a landslide victory over his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. The result was disputed by Abdullah as being rigged against him, delaying the announcement of the final vote counts.

Bowing to diplomatic pressure from the United States, the Abdullah camp, drawing its support from Tajiks, accepted the victory of Ghani, a Pashtun, in return for gaining the post of “chief executive officer,” which will be upgraded to that of prime minister within two years.

We welcome the birth of a unified government, aimed at defusing ethnic confrontation. It is significant for Afghanistan to achieve the transfer of power through a democratic vote, albeit after a myriad of problems in the process of voting and vote-counting.

Securing public safety in that nation is the most pressing issue for Ghani. Militants from the former Taliban regime wield clout over the country’s south and other regions. There have been a succession of terrorist attacks in the capital, Kabul.

The Islamic State, which is drastically expanding its sphere of influence in Iraq and Syria, has been calling on Taliban fighters to join forces with it. Some of the militants have joined the Islamic State’s cause.

Security forces led by the U.S. military and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with a total of 40,000 members, will withdraw from Afghanistan within this year. From next year and beyond, about 10,000 U.S. troops assisting the Afghan military are scheduled to provide training for about 350,000 members of the Afghan security forces.

Economic woes

Ghani should work to promptly seal an accord necessary for the U.S. military to remain in the nation and expedite efforts to enhance the capability of the Afghan security forces. To ensure long-term stability, he needs to find a way to coexist with the Taliban.

Furthermore, Afghanistan must urgently build economic and social foundations. The ability of Ghani, an international economist who has worked for the World Bank, will be tested in these areas.

Afghanistan has been plagued by persistent financial crises, with about 60 percent of the state budget covered by monetary aid from foreign countries, a situation sowing corruption among government employees and lowering the morale of soldiers and policemen, many of whom have called it quits.

Farmers deprived of means to earn a legitimate living have turned to growing poppies and producing opium for sale, an industry that has generated funds for the Taliban. It is a serious problem.

The international community, for its part, should concentrate on providing support to develop human resources such as policemen, promote agriculture and improve education and medical care in Afghanistan, in addition to the provision of financial aid.

Japan, the second-largest donor to the nation after the United States, has a major role to play.

The government is providing up to $3 billion (about ¥330 billion) in aid over five years from 2012.

Japan’s program of providing vocational training to former Taliban soldiers to encourage them to reintegrate into society has been applauded. In cooperation with the United States and European nations, Japan should support Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts. The nation can also provide its own know-how for the endeavor.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 24, 2014)Speech


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