Development News from Afghanistan

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Rehabilitation Plan Set for Afghanistan

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By Yoon Won-sup
The Korea Times (South Korea)
September 22, 2007

The government is considering continuing rehabilitation projects in Afghanistan after Korean troops return at the end of this year.

The projects will be concerned with the country’s infrastructure such as the construction of roads _ not military ones.

“We are considering various ways of joining the international effort to help with the rehabilitation and peace-keeping projects as a part of the international community,” Cho Hee-yong, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told The Korea Times.

Though Seoul suffered from the hostage crisis in Afghanistan, it can’t totally ignore the international community’s activities to help countries in need, Cho added.

One project is for Korea to send a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) to Afghanistan after the pullout of its troops.

PRTs run post-war rehabilitation projects in local areas for economic development and are made up of experts from the United States and its allies.

Considering the planned pullout at the end of this year, the government will decide on sending a PRT or other team as a replacement.

However, the ministry is facing criticism on security matters. There are still armed conflicts as well as the danger of the Taliban kidnapping Koreans again.

Seoul promised the Taliban it would remove its troops and not allow any more Christian missionaries to go to Afghanistan in exchange for the release of Korean hostages they took. But the militants said it will kidnap any Koreans venturing into the country.

A group of 23 Korean Christians were kidnapped by the Taliban in July and were returned home after 43 days in captivity after two were shot dead.

About 210 South Korean troops of the Dasan Engineering Unit and Dongui Medical Unit are stationed in the war-ravaged nation on a humanitarian and rehabilitation operation as part of an international coalition of forces led by the United States and NATO.

Written by afghandevnews

September 22, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Aid, Development

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