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G7 calls for immediate end to violence and durable peace

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(Last Updated On: May 6, 2021)

The Group of Seven (G7) said on Wednesday a sustainable, inclusive political settlement is the only way to achieve a just and durable peace in Afghanistan.

In a communique, issued after the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting on Wednesday in London, the group stated it supports the continuation of the peace negotiations in Doha and efforts to convene a high-level conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul.

“It is important that countries in the region continue to work together to support efforts for peace.”

The G7 called on all Afghan parties to renew their full engagement with the peace process and said it continues to advocate for the meaningful participation and inclusion of the voices of women, young people and those from minority groups in all discussions regarding Afghanistan’s future.

“We also endorse mechanisms that allow the negotiating parties to include the diverse perspectives of Afghan civil society,” .

The group said it will work to protect the rights that all Afghans, including women, young people and minority groups have fought for and come to enjoy and value.

“We support the desire of Afghans to live in peace and prosperity, building on the positive economic, social and political achievements of the last 20 years.

“G7 members commit to using international development assistance, advocacy and diplomacy to support the people of Afghanistan’s aspirations. Current and future support to the Afghan government relies on the adherence to the principles set out in the Afghanistan Partnership Framework and progress towards the outcomes in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework II as decided upon at the November 2020 Geneva donors’ conference,” the communique read.

The G7 members called for an immediate end to attacks on civilians, including the targeted campaign of killings against women, journalists, and human rights activists, for which the Taliban are primarily responsible.

“We call for a significant reduction in violence as a pathway to a comprehensive ceasefire. We urge all parties to allow safe, unhindered humanitarian access to those in need.”

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Tribal elders arrested after negotiating check post deals for Taliban

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(Last Updated On: June 13, 2021)

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Sunday that a number of tribal elders who have acted as mediators to negotiate between government forces and the Taliban for handing over outposts to the militants have been arrested.

Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the MoI, said in series of tweets that “indeed, the act of them (elders) is a direct cooperation with the Taliban.”

“The Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANSDF) have already been directed to arrest anyone who [acts as mediator],” Arian tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said Sunday that a number of districts are virtually under economic siege by the Taliban, and as roads are closed, people are not be able to access basic necessities, food, and services.

The organization stated that the use of economic blockades as a tactic of war deprives people of their right to life, of their ability to enjoy their economic rights, and therefore it is a crime.

AIHRC has called on the Taliban to immediately reopen the roads so that “people, who are affected by the drought and the outbreak of the coronavirus, have access to basic goods and services.”

This comes as four districts in four provinces fell to the Taliban in the past 24 hours, sources told Ariana News on Sunday, adding these were in Kunduz, Farah, Ghor, and Zabul provinces.

The districts are Ali Abad in Kunduz, Arghandab in Zabul, Saghar in Ghor, and Lash Jawin in Farah province.

However, security officials have not confirmed this yet.

According to Atta Jan Haq Bayan, the head of the Zabul provincial council, the Arghandab district government compound has been captured and forces have retreated.

“Headquarters of the district have fallen… and the army brigade also retreated and Taliban took over the district,” said Atta Jan Haq Bayan.

Local sources said that Saghar district in Ghor and Lash Jawin in Farah fell to the Taliban in the past 24 hours.

According to the sources, heavy clashes were ongoing in the Posht-Road district of Farah province.

“Jawin (Lash Jawin) and the Posht-Road were attacked, unfortunately, the Jawin district fell to the Taliban,” said Dadullah Qani, a member of the Farah provincial council.

“Ghor province is in a crisis, three districts have fallen to the Taliban,” said Hamidullah Mutahid, a member of Ghor provincial council.

Afghan officials, meanwhile, said that these districts had not fallen to the Taliban but that the district centers had been relocated in consultation with locals.

Kunduz provincial council members meanwhile confirmed that the Ali Abad district center and some outposts had been seized by the Taliban. Security officials have not confirmed this.

“Enemy attacked security forces in Khan Abad and Ali Abad district,” said Inhamuddin, the spokesman for Kunduz police.

Meanwhile, heavy clashes have been ongoing between Taliban and security forces in nine districts in the eastern and southeastern zones of the country in the past 24 hours.

In addition, sources said that 42 public uprising force members have surrendered to the Taliban in Gardez city, the capital of Paktia province.

Sholgara district in Balkh province has also witnessed heavy clashes between the Taliban and security officials in the past 24 hours, officials said.

“Eight districts are under threat; Sholgara district is also under threat,” said Farhad Azimi, governor of Balkh province.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) meanwhile said the Taliban have suffered heavy casualties in the past 24 hours and at least 181 Taliban members have been killed in clashes.

“We assure people that enemies who posed great threats are defeated,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the MoD.

The Presidential Palace (ARG) also said that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) can defeat the Taliban.

“The ANDSF are able to provide security and defend the country’s sovereignty,” said Mohammad Amiri, deputy spokesman for ARG.

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Four districts in four provinces fall to the Taliban: Sources

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(Last Updated On: June 13, 2021)

Four districts in four provinces fell to the Taliban in the past 24 hours, sources told Ariana News on Sunday, adding these were in Kunduz, Farah, Ghor and Zabul provinces.

The districts are Ali Abad in Kunduz, Arghandab in Zabul, Saghar in Ghor and Lash Jawin in Farah province.

However, security officials have not confirmed this yet.

According to Atta Jan Haq Bayan, the head of the Zabul provincial council, the Arghandab district government compound has been captured and forces have retreated.

“Headquarters of the district have fallen… and the army brigade also retreated and Taliban took over the district,” said Atta Jan Haq Bayan.

Local sources said that Saghar district in Ghor and Lash Jawin in Farah fell to the Taliban in the past 24 hours.

According to the sources heavy clashes were ongoing in Posht-Road district of Farah province.

“Jawin (Lash Jawin) and Posht-Road were attacked, unfortunately, the Jawin district fell to the Taliban,” said Dadullah Qani, a member of the Farah provincial council.

“Ghor province is in a crisis, three districts have fallen to the Taliban,” said Hamidullah Mutahid, a member of Ghor provincial council.

Afghan officials, meanwhile, said that these districts had not fallen to the Taliban but that the district centers had been relocated in consultation with locals.

Kunduz provincial council members meanwhile confirmed that the Ali Abad district center and some outposts had been seized by the Taliban. Security officials have not confirmed this.

“Enemy attacked security forces in Khan Abad and Ali Abad district,” said Inhamuddin, the spokesman for Kunduz police.

Meanwhile, heavy clashes have been ongoing between Taliban and security forces in nine districts in the eastern and southeastern zones of the country in the past 24 hours.

In addition, sources said that 42 public uprising force members have surrendered to the Taliban in Gardez city, the capital of Paktia province.

Sholgara district in Balkh province has also witnessed heavy clashes between the Taliban and security officials in the past 24 hours, officials said.

“Eight districts are under threat; Sholgara district is also under threat,” said Farhad Azimi, governor of Balkh province.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) meanwhile said the Taliban have suffered heavy casualties in the past 24 hours and at least 181 Taliban members have been killed in clashes.

“We assure people that enemies who posed great threats are defeated,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the MoD.

The Presidential Palace (ARG) also said that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) can defeat the Taliban.

“The ANDSF are able to provide security and defend the country’s sovereignty” said Mohammad Amiri, deputy spokesman for ARG.

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Khalili labels attacks on Hazaras an act of genocide

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(Last Updated On: June 13, 2021)

Mohammad Karim Khalili, leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan party, on Sunday warned insurgents against continuing attacks targeting western parts of Kabul and “systematic massacres of Hazaras” and said that the perpetrators of these “tragedies” would force the Hazara people to rise up and defend themselves.

Khalili, who was also second vice president under former president Hamid Karzai, said that if Hazaras are forced to defend themselves, they would be able to defend themselves in other ways.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Khalili said that in recent months, the Hazara people have been killed in “catastrophic” ways, in the name of “ethnic and tribal” targeted killings or by “suicide bombings.”

He said based on the interpretation of jurists and scientific discussions, any type of ethnic-specific killings is a clear example of genocide.

Khalili said the Hazara people have been consistently targeted over the past 20 years.

“When these people stand against this kind of movement and shout the voice of justice, it does not mean confronting other ethnic groups,” Khalili said.

Khalili also pointed out that over the past few years, all the people of Afghanistan have been victims of violence and war and all the people have shared in these sacrifices. However, he added that there is no justification for this and the goal is to annihilate a nation.

Khalili explained that during this period, the Hazara people were however specifically targeted because of their ethnicity, on roads, at mosques, schools, training centers, wedding halls and sports clubs, “and were covered in dust and blood”.

Khalili asked what the interpretation of this act was – if not genocide?

“We have two types of casualties, one on the battlefield, in which we have casualties from all the tribes, and the people take their martyrs and bury them in honor, and we stand by the rest of the people; but once again in another way – they kill and want to de-identify the people, and according to their lawyers, de-identification is a type of genocide,” Khalili added.

He pointed out that other Hazara people had raised their voices just because of the recent incident and called on all the people of the country to unite with this nation.

“The boredom of the people of Hazara is over and it is not against any people or side, but against criminal gangs.

We wish all the tribes to comply with the sufferings of the Hazara people and we ask the people to help the people in this indictment,” Khalili said.

“We demand the Pashtun brothers, Uzbeks, Tajiks and other ethnic group’s lawyers support the Hazara people in this matter,” he said.

“Criminals are trying to strip this nation (Hazara) of their identity by any means.”

Khalili also called on the Independent Human Rights Commission and international organizations to examine recent incidents and attacks that happened in the Hazara and Shiite communities.

On the other hand, the leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan criticized the government for failing to provide security to Hazaras. He said that the leaders of the government have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the people in accordance with the constitution.

Khalili added that the government cannot distance itself by accusing criminals.

“According to the constitution, the leadership of the government is responsible for ensuring the security of the people, the government cannot shower itself lightly here, and the government must clarify who is the perpetrator and who is behind these incidents,” Khalili said.

Khalili also said that the president must help the people.

On the other hand, the Khalili stated that if the goal of massacring Hazara people was to destroy this group – it would not be possible.

“If the aim of this action is to eliminate the Hazara people, it is not possible at all.The restlessness of a Hazara people does not mean fear,” Khalili said.

His comments come after at least six bombings took place in western Kabul in the past two weeks, which is home to mostly Hazaras. The blasts mainly targeted passenger cars and killed at least 28 people and injured nearly 30 others.

Talking about peace in Afghanistan Khalili called for an “agreed peace” settlement.

“We will achieve lasting peace when all the people, parties and stakeholders are partners and you find yourself in the peace process. Imported peace is not effective at all,” Khalili said.

Khalili also called on all parties including the Taliban to grab the opportunity for peace and urged parties to “not let this opportunity be wasted.”

“I also say to the Taliban that we want such a peace that all parties see themselves in.”

“The roots of the conflict are resolved when compromise is reached, not through political compromise, and the peace process will succeed when it becomes a process of reconciliation,” he said.

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