U.N. Sees Progress in Securing Afghan Elections But 'Significant' Challenges Remain by Phillip Walter Wellman - Stars & Stripes
The United Nations on Thursday said NATO-trained, local security forces are creating conditions for most eligible Afghans to vote, as Afghanistan braces for a spike in violence ahead of parliamentary elections next week.
Progress has been made despite significant security challenges, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, said in a statement.
U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have said helping Afghan forces safeguard the elections, scheduled for Oct. 20, is one of the coalition’s top priorities this year. Next week’s vote is already three years overdue.
But security fears have prompted speculation from analysts that voter turnout might be low. Nearly 130 civilians have already been killed in the run-up to the vote, according to U.N. data, and the Taliban have vowed to disrupt the process further…