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Senseless violence in Afghanistan must end

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Canada and Australia join others in the international community in condemning the escalation of violence across Afghanistan. 

 We deplore the suffering and deaths of innocent civilians.

We condemn the deliberate and callous targeting of advocates for peace, and of the security forces trying to protect the population. 

We are deeply concerned that unacceptable levels of Taliban violence against Afghan forces threaten the long-delayed hopes of the Afghan people for peace.  

The recent attacks on religious leaders, healthcare workers, human rights advocates, and judicial figures are abhorrent. Those who carried out these crimes clearly intended to stop free debate. But the calls by civil society for an end to violence, and a bright and inclusive future for Afghanistan, cannot be silenced. 

We are confident Afghans will not be deterred from raising their voices to help achieve their common goal of an Afghanistan at peace, and in which the people’s wellbeing and diverse contributions are valued. We urge the full investigation of these crimes so those responsible can be brought to justice.

We continue to support inclusive, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-led negotiations as the only effective pathway to peace. It is disheartening that the restraint being shown by the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces is not mirrored by the Taliban. This is not the behavior expected of those who claim to represent the very same people who are the victims of their violence.

Together, we call on all parties to the conflict to immediately comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2532. Now is the time for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which will allow the access so greatly needed to vulnerable Afghan communities battling the heavy impact of the COVID-19 crisis. An immediate reduction in violence and the humanitarian ceasefire will also build confidence and enable progress to be achieved in the intra-Afghan negotiations. 

The Taliban should demonstrate to fellow Afghans and the rest of the world it’s intent to undertake good faith negotiations for a peaceful future for Afghanistan. We encourage all parties to create the right conditions for the intra-Afghan talks by making clear their commitment to peace.

They must end this senseless violence now.

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AIB takes delivery of 6th cash aid package from UN

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The sixth transfer of humanitarian aid in US dollars from the United Nations has arrived in Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank said on Monday.

The aid, totaling $32 million, was immediately handed over to the Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) on Sunday.

Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank, has thanked the UN for its assistance in helping to overcome the current economic crisis in the country.

Last month the United Nations announced it would provide $20 million a week in cash as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by the end of March this year to save the banking system from running out of cash.

The Central Bank of Afghanistan announced four days ago that it had also received the fifth package of $32 million in cash from the United Nations.

After the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the United States froze nearly $10 billion in foreign reserves belonging to Afghanistan.

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IEA wraps up first day of talks with Norwegian authorities

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Monday members of their delegation, led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, to Norway met with Norwegian officials on Sunday and discussed issues related to the current situation in the country.

According to a statement issued by the (IEA), “a one-day joint meeting was held between officials of the acting Afghan government and a number of personalities in Oslo, the capital of the Kingdom of Norway”.

“During the meeting, the participants listened patiently to each others’ opinions and exchanged views on the current situation in the country.

“They affirmed that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and stressed that all Afghans need to work together for the political, economic and security prosperity of the country.

 “The participants of the meeting recognized that understanding and joint cooperation are the only solutions to all the problems of Afghanistan,” read the statement.

The IEA also said all participants declared such meetings to be in the interest of the country.

Speaking at the end of the first day of talks, IEA delegate Shafiullah Azam told The Associated Press that the meetings with Western officials were “a step to legitimize (the) Afghan government,” adding that “this type of invitation and communication will help (the) European community, (the) U.S. or many other countries to erase the wrong picture of the Afghan government.”

Norway’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile said in a statement last week that Afghan representatives have been invited to Oslo from  23-25 January to meet Norwegian authorities, the international community, and other Afghans.

The statement noted that the meetings do not represent a legitimization or recognition of the IEA “but the de facto authorities must be talked with so that we prevent political situation leading to a worse humanitarian disaster”.

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Pakistan’s PM renews call for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reiterated calls for the international community to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Khan said in a tweet that under the UN Principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), it was obligatory to help protect people from the mass-scale humanitarian crisis left in the wake of a prolonged conflict.

“Right now millions of Afghan people are in danger of starvation,” he said adding it was the “duty of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance.”

UN agencies have warned that more than 23 million people are at risk of starvation if aid is not provided.

Earlier this month, the UN agencies launched a call for $4.5 billion in aid for 2022, its biggest-ever international appeal. The US responded with a donation of $308 million to be channeled through independent humanitarian organizations.

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