2012-01-06

NATO Considers Fight Against Drug Trafficking in Afghanistan a “Success”

Canadian soldiers from the NATO-led coalition force walk past marijuana plants after a firefight against Taliban insurgents in southeastern Afghanistan. (Photo: Reuters / Finbarr O'Reilly)

Canadian soldiers from the NATO-led coalition force walk past marijuana plants after a firefight against Taliban insurgents in southeastern Afghanistan. (Photo: Reuters / Finbarr O'Reilly)

AFP

The fight against drug trafficking in Afghanistan is a success thanks to the “incredible” seizures made in 2011, Carsten Jacobson, a spokesperson for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO-led foreign military coalition, said at a press conference.

“Narcotics trafficking has been a key generator of funding for the insurgency, but that source of revenue is diminishing,” Jacobson affirmed.

Seizures of opium increased 13 percent and those of hashish 59 percent, while those of marijuana and morphine multiplied 12-fold and 10-fold respectively, according to ISAF statistics.

“Counter-narcotics operations are successfully disrupting the insurgents’ ability to process opium into heroin,” the ISAF spokesperson affirmed.

Nevertheless, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicated in October 2011 that opium production in Afghanistan increased significantly in 2011 compared to 2010, when the harvest was affected by disease.

For this year, UNODC estimates that potential production may reach 5,800 tons, compared to 3,600 tons last year.

Following a slight decrease in 2010, Afghanistan is expected to once again generate 90 percent of world opium production, according to UNODC.

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