Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 28th, 2021

Afghan War Has Entered Deadlier Phase: UN Envoy

Afghan War Has Entered Deadlier Phase: UN Envoy

KABUL - The war in Afghanistan has entered a new and deadlier phase, says the United Nations top diplomat in the country.
The secretary-general’s special representative said: “Ahead lies either a genuine peace negotiation or a tragically intertwined set of crises: an increasingly brutal conflict combined with an acute humanitarian situation and multiplying human rights abuses.”
Deborah Lyons, who also heads UNAMA, urged the UN Security Council to work to prevent Afghanistan from descending into a catastrophic situation.
Xinhua news agency quoted her as saying: “Let me assure you, such a catastrophe would have consequences far beyond the borders of Afghanistan.”
She believed the Security Council and the broader international community could help prevent the direst scenarios. But quick and unified action would be required, she explained.
In the past weeks, the UN envoy noted, the war in Afghanistan had entered a new, deadlier and more destructive phase.
In June and July, she said, the Taliban had been able to capture rural areas had achieved significant territorial gains. The fighters had begun attacking large cities, added Lyons.
In this regard, she referred to the capitals of Kandahar, Herat, and Helmand that have come under significant pressure.
It was a clear attempt by the insurgents to seize urban centres. The human toll of this strategy was extremely distressing and the political even more disturbing, she remarked.
While questioning Taliban’s commitment to a political settlement, she pointed out more than 1,000 civilians had been killed in the past month.
“A party that was genuinely committed to a negotiated settlement would not risk so many civilian casualties,” the diplomat believed.
Afghan Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai also called on the UN Security Council to act to “prevent a catastrophic situation.
He said: “We’re alarmed by reports and incidents of gross human rights violations by the Taliban and their foreign terrorist associates.
“We are extremely concerned about the safety of people in cities under Taliban attacks,” the ambassador added.
Lyons said despite expectations that the withdrawal of foreign forces would lead to a reduction in violence, the level of civilian casualties had increased by 50 percent.
“There is a striking contrast between the activity on the battlefield and the quiet stalemate at the negotiation table in Doha,” she commented. (Pajhwok)