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Security key to Afghan vote, U.N. says

Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM   |   Comments

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Security is one of the areas the Afghan government should focus on as it continues preparations for 2014 elections, the U.N. assistance mission said.

U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan Jan Kubis met in Kabul with Chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani to discuss preparations under way for next year's presidential and provincial council elections.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai backed election laws in a July decree. Members of an independent election commission were appointed earlier this month.

Kubis said recent developments were encouraging, adding Afghanistan was doing better with its political processes more than 10 years after international forces removed the Taliban from power.

"Security will be central to ensuring inclusive elections and is one area requiring increased attention," the mission said in a statement Tuesday.

A July report from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said 74 percent of the casualties reported during the first six months of 2013 were attributed to insurgents. Civilian casualties in the first six months of 2013 were 23 percent higher than the same time last year.

Presidential and provincial council elections are scheduled April 5. International combat forces are looking to end their commitments to Afghanistan next year as well.

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