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Eide forced out of Kabul, Galbraith says

Dec. 15, 2009 at 1:18 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The planned departure of Kai Eide from his position as the top U.N. envoy to Afghanistan was involuntary, said his former deputy, Peter Galbraith.

Eide last week called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to start looking for someone to take over his post in Kabul. Eide insists he did not intend to serve a second term in Kabul, but his ousted former deputy told Foreign Policy that claim was inaccurate.

"This was involuntary and inevitable, ever since the end of September," said Galbraith.

Galbraith was run out of office in the wake of the fraud scandal that tainted the Aug. 20 presidential elections in Afghanistan. Galbraith accused his boss, Eide, of ignoring a series of discrepancies during the vote preparation.

The former deputy said Eide essentially "cut his own throat" in the fallout from the election scandal, which tarnished not only Afghan President Hamid Karzai but also the reputation of the U.N. mission in Kabul.

The International Crisis Group, a global monitoring group, called for Eide's resignation in November because of the damage to the credibility of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan.

Galbraith said Ban would most likely appoint Staffan de Mistura, the former U.N. special envoy in Iraq, to serve as Eide's replacement. The replacement announcement is expected as early as January when London hosts an international conference on Afghanistan.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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