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U.N. Votes on German Kunduz Deployment

The U.N. Security Council votes on Monday on whether it should give the go-ahead for the expansion of the International Security and Assisstance Force (ISAF) peacekeeping force in Afghanistan from the capital Kabul to the northern province of Kunduz. The decision will affect the German contingent in Kabul, as the army is planning to send 230 to 450 soldiers to Kunduz to secure reconstruction and humanitarian work there. The German parliament is expected to vote on the issue in the last week of October following a positive Security Council decision. A small group of 70 German soldiers will be sent to Kunduz immediately after parliamentary approval, the rest will follow early 2004. Other European nations involved in the multinational ISAF have also shown interest in sending peacekeepers to the region. The Kunduz mandate is initially limited till the end of next year.