Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Tadamichi Yamamoto supported the Intra-Afghan peace talks in a statement on Thursday.
“I welcome the efforts made by the people of Afghanistan and other key actors to make progress and realize direct intra-Afghan talks. While recognizing the many challenges to be addressed in any peace efforts, the United Nations remains committed to supporting an inclusive Afghan-led process that upholds the human rights of all citizens and leads to sustainable peace. Peace is crucial for the future of Afghanistan,” said Yamamoto in the statement.
It is stated in the statement that the war in Afghanistan continues to take an appalling toll on civilians. “I recognize with extreme sadness that civilian casualties recently surpassed 100,000 in the past 10 years alone, from the time the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began systematic documentation of civilian casualties in 2009 to the present,” Yamamoto added to the statement.
The UNAMA statement emphasizes that whatever the outcome of the presidential election may be, peace will be the issue of paramount importance to the new administration.
Furthermore, the statement adds that the United Nations maintains that intra-Afghan talks which include women and youth are essential for an Afghan-owned peace process and are fundamental to all ongoing peace efforts. Through local peace initiatives in Afghanistan, UNAMA has been working with communities across the country to support the peaceful resolution of long-standing disputes over land, water, and other key resources, and they will continue to do so.
Yamamoto adds, “The United Nations urges those participating in all peace efforts to consider the millions of ordinary Afghans, especially the victims of the conflict, who want a chance to live in peace so they can rebuild their lives in a country that is stable, just and economically prosperous, and where their human rights are protected.”
In this statement, the United Nations urges all stakeholders to seek ways to reduce levels of violence, especially the violence which harms civilians, on the way to a lasting political settlement and a permanent ceasefire.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is a political UN mission established at the request of the Government of Afghanistan to assist it and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
Taliban shadow district governor among 10 dead – Ghor
The Ministry of Defense in a statement said that the Taliban had attacked some parts of Dawlatyar district, Ghor province Wednesday night but were defeated by the national defense forces, leaving a Taliban’s shadow governor of Lalo-Sarjangal district along with nine other Taliban fighters dead.
“The security forces being actively defensive defended themselves and the residents of Dawlatyar district killing 10 Taliban fighters,” the statement added.
According to the MoD report, the Taliban killed in action are named as follows:
1- Qari Rauf, a Taliban shadow governor for Lal-o-Sarjangal district
2- Qari Niyatullah son of Amanullah, a mine maker of the Taliban, from Zarzughal village
3- Mohammad Amin son Sarwar from Pushtai Noor
4- Rabbani son of Ghulam Haidar from Pushtai Noor
5- Jumhoor son of Khal Mohammad from Samak
6- Hayatullah son of Noorullah from Samak
7- Mustafa son of Amirdad from Murghab
8- Mohammad Noor son of Dost from Pushta Naw
It’s reported that the dead, named above, belonged to Qari Rauf’s group.
The statement says that six other Taliban fighters were wounded in the combat, and some six AK47 and an 82mm rocket launcher were also seized by the Afghan forces.
Ambassadors to Kabul concerned over Afghan leaders’ political dilemmas
The new year inherits peace talks hurdles, political tensions, and more importantly, the fear of the coronavirus from the previous year.
David Martinon, the French ambassador to Afghanistan, says that being united will make Afghanistan stronger, but nowadays in Afghanistan, the leaders are not united. Martinon suggests that Afghan leaders should unite to negotiate with the Taliban.
According to him, the coming weeks are important as besides peace talks, Afghanistan and other nations are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes as Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, in an interview with RTA, insisted on an agreement between the politicians, the forming a high council of reconciliation and an inclusive negotiating team.
Khalilzad said, “We want to reach Intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible. We want the negotiating team to be inclusive. There are some prisoners who are old and have sentenced time, therefore some steps should be taken.”
Khalilzad added, “This is a big danger that threatens the peace talks and fights with the coronavirus. A solution should be found that is acceptable for all.”
In the meantime, following their mediating journey, Hamid Karzai and Abdul Rab Rasool Sayaf visited Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday to resolve the tensions between him and President Ghani.
ANDSF continue to stay in a state of defense
National Security Council says that in order to not squander the opportunity to bring peace, the Afghan forces do not attack the Taliban; however, if the Taliban attacks, they will respond accordingly.
By the end of the ‘7-day reduction in violence’ term, the Taliban notified of resuming their attacks over the Afghan forces. Since then, the battlefields have been seeing war again.
According to official sources, the casualties made during the 7-day term of violence reduction were referred to as 30 killed and 50 wounded. Now that the Taliban has intensified its war, authorities do not speak of exact casualties and places at war.
Marwa Amini, the deputy spokesperson of the ministry of interior, says, “The ANDSF is in a defense state. When the Taliban attacked some parts of the country, they received similar responses from the Afghan forces and suffered severe casualties.”
During the week-long reduction in violence, the Taliban had promised that they would not attack big cities and provincial headquarters as well as foreign forces.
Jawid Faisal, the NSC spokesperson, says that the Afghan forces have been in a state of defense because they do not want to challenge the opportunity to bring peace and that they will strike back if they came under attack.
Military experts say that by the end of the week-long reduction in violence, the Taliban’s attacks were surprising for the ANDSF and it seems that with the withdrawal of the foreign forces, they need more training.
Abdul Wahab Wardak, former commander of the Afghan air force, says, “Afghan forces are capable of defending their homeland in the absence of the foreign troops, however, that’s not all – the Afghan forces do need to receive further training and improve warfare skills.”
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