Afghanistan: April 8, 2004

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Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum seized control of the capital of Faryab province in northern Afghanistan. Dostun has had disputes with the governor of the province over which tribes could use which tracts of land. The central government had not been able to mediate the dispute and Dostun got tired of waiting. The governor of Faryab fled, as did the governor of  neighboring Sar-e-Pul province who also did not get along with Dostun. Afghan president Karzai  knew this move was in the making, and had sent some troops from the national army to Faryab province, but these troops, and their American advisors, arrived after Dostuns men had taken over the provincial capital. Some 700 army troops are being flown in. Dostuns militia is, technically, part of the national army, and Karzai considers using the warlord militia to settle private feuds as "misuse of the armed forces." Dostun is not happy with the central government, feeling that it does not give the Uzbeks the respect and economic goodies they deserve. Dostun is unlikely to go to war with the central government, and if he does he knows he will have to deal with American air power. 

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to have their border troops coordinate patrols and other activities in order to make it more difficult for armed groups to freely cross the border.

 

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