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Gov’t welcomes Security Council’s decision to extend UNAMA 

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(Last Updated On: September 16, 2020)

Afghanistan has welcomed the UN Security Council’s decision to extend the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year and thanked all member states that voted in favor of this. 

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday night, government said UNAMA has played a vital role in garnering international support for peace talks and for the end state to safeguard and enhance the republic, the fundamental rights of all Afghans, especially women and minorities. 

“The Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan vows to continue to work to pursue permanent, comprehensive ceasefire and an inclusive political settlement,” the statement read. 

The ministry of foreign affairs also stated it would render all its assistance to UNAMA to ensure the successful conclusion of its mission, “which are in the best interests of the Afghan people’s developmental and socio-political progress.”

Earlier Wednesday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution, agreeing to extend the mission’s mandate until September 17 next year. 

The council welcomed the start of intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha and strongly encouraged the parties to continue pursuing confidence-building measures — including additional reductions in violence — and encouraged them to engage in good faith.

Members decided that UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within their mandate and in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership, will continue to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts in Afghanistan in full cooperation with the Afghan government. 

They laid out a range of priorities, including the support for the organization of future elections; strengthening capacity in the protection and promotion of human rights; support for gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment; the coordination and facilitation of humanitarian assistance; and support for Afghanistan’s development and governance priorities.

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Kabul University lecturer killed in IED explosion 

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(Last Updated On: February 18, 2021)

A university lecturer was killed in a targeted IED explosion in Kabul city late Thursday morning.

Police confirmed the incident, which happened at about 11.25 am in PD3, close to Kabul University and said another person was also killed in the incident. 

The victim, Mubasher Muslimyar, was a lecturer in Islamic studies at the university.

Muslimyar was killed while driving in a Toyota Corolla which was targeted in a magnetic IED attack. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.  

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Biden says he will never hesitate to use force to protect America

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(Last Updated On: February 11, 2021)

In a visit to the Pentagon on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said he would never hesitate to use force to defend America but also promised to work with leaders around the world to bring an end to wars that have dragged on “for far too long”. 

“As your commander in chief, I will never hesitate to use force to defend the vital interest of America, the American people and our allies around the world when necessary,” Biden said adding that the “central indispensable mission of the Department of Defense is to deter aggression from our enemies, and if required to, fight and win wars to keep America safe.”

He told DoD staff present at the event that the US Defense Department is essential for the work State Department diplomats do around the world.

Biden promised to work with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and world leaders “to bring a responsible end to wars that have dragged on for far too long, while continuing to ensure that terrorist threats cannot endanger the security of the American people.”

Biden did not however give any indication as to what his decision is yet on the May 1 troop withdrawal deadline. 

An agreement signed in February 2020 by the Trump Administration and the Taliban notes that all US troops are supposed to be gone by May this year. 

So far, indications are that the withdrawal of troops will be based on conditions on the ground, opposed to a calendar date. 

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Facebook to temporarily reduce political content in some countries

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(Last Updated On: February 11, 2021)

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it would temporarily reduce political content appearing on New Feeds for some users in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia this week and in the United States within the coming weeks, Reuters reported.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in January that he wanted to “turn down the temperature” of political conversations on the social networking site because “people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services.”

Reuters reported that the world’s largest social network, which has received flack for not doing enough to remove hateful content from the platform, last month said it would stop recommending civic and political groups to users.

Reducing the frequency of political content will mark initial steps to explore different ways to rank such content in people’s feeds using different signals and understand their preferences, the company said in a blog post.

Facebook will exempt content from official government agencies and services, as well as COVID-19 information from health organizations from the drill, Reuters reported.

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