Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, November 02, 2007

U.N. warns of opium ‘tsunami’ if Afghanistan’s borders are not secured

The U.N. anti-drug chief said Wednesday that a “tsunami” of opium will hit Afghanistan’s neighbors if border security is not improved, The Associated Press reported the same day.

In 2007, Afghanistan witnessed a dramatic increase in the production of opium – a drug that equals more than half of the country’s legal gross domestic product. The record harvest poses a “major threat” to global public health, according to Antonio Maria Costa, chief of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. The security of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries is also susceptible, as 90 percent of opium profits flow to international criminal gangs and terrorist networks, Costa, said

“We all know that opium and heroin cause severe, severe problems, addictions, corruption, criminality, terrorism,” said Gen. Khodaidad, Afghanistan’s acting counter-narcotics minister. “Afghanistan is not alone. Many countries in the region share this problem. If we are all part of the problem we are all part of the solution.”

According to the article: “Jean-Luc Lemahieu, a UNODC official, said the international body is looking at regional border solutions for Afghanistan such as purchasing communications equipment that officials in neighboring countries could use to coordinate with each other on drug searches. UNODC is also exploring the possibility of joint operations by neighboring countries, he said.”

For the full article, click here.

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