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UNAMA: All Afghan parties should work together to resolve their differences peacefully

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2020)

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is urging all Afghan parties to work together to resolve their differences peacefully for the good of the people of Afghanistan, said Ms. Ingrid Hayden the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and OIC UNAMA.

Ms. Hayden started her speech for the members of Security Council on March 31 with talking about the crucial moment in the history of Afghanistan saying that “Afghanistan appears to be reaching a defining moment. Almost two decades after the start of the coalition intervention, the question for the Islamic Republic now is: can its leaders rally together to engage in meaningful talks with the Taliban to achieve a sustainable peace?”

She then talked about the Afghan presidential election, saying, “Afghanistan’s presidential election, which took place on 28 September of last year, was a protracted process. The reasons why are well-documented, but now is not the time for acrimony.  The issue at hand is preserving the Islamic Republic and advancing the values its Constitution enshrines.”

About the parallel inauguration ceremonies held by Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah Ms. Hayden said, “This prompted serious concerns in many quarters, Afghans and internationals alike, of the potential for a dangerous miscalculation which could have long-lasting implications for the future of the Republic.”

Ms. Hayden added, “As I speak, this impasse continues, despite intensive engagement by key stakeholders, particularly the United States, regional actors and Afghan political leaders, aimed at ending the brinkmanship.”

Following the political turmoil, the US decided to reduce its assistance by 1 bn USD for 2020 and their preparedness to the same the year after if the political conflict continues in Afghanistan.

Ms. Hayden underlined that Afghanistan is heavily relying on donor funding, and the US fund cut could have severe consequences for “Afghanistan’s fiscal viability” and “socio-economic outcomes in the country.”

Speaking about the continued investment and international funding in the crucial situation of COVID-19, Ms. Hayden stated that Afghanistan should demonstrate a “compelling case

Now, with the onslaught of COVID-19, many donors are likely to turn inwards to meet the needs of their own population. Afghanistan needs to demonstrate a “compelling case for the continued investment of international resources.”

She also said, “UNAMA is urging all Afghan parties to work together to resolve their differences peacefully for the good of the people of Afghanistan. Now is not the time for divisions. Now is the time for statesmanship, accommodation and inclusivity. The interests of Afghans must come first – including the rights of all women, minorities and youth.”

To resolve the conflict, according to Ms. Hayden is a profound responsibility for all the Afghan leaders.

Ms. Hayden called the agreement between the Afghan laterals on a diverse negotiation team “heartening” amid the political impasse.

She then talked about the importance of women taking part in the Intra-Afghan Talks saying that “It is an important recognition that women can and must be involved in reaching any sustainable and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

UNAMA has encouraged the Taliban to reciprocate by including women in their delegation who have an empowered decisive voice at the table. Doing so would send a tangible signal that the movement has fundamentally reformed, Ms. Hayden underlined.

She also stated that all sides were urged to take concrete steps to make the prospect of Intra-Afghan negotiations a reality.

Having announced its negotiating team, the Islamic Republic has the weighty task of equipping its negotiators with the necessary skills to help frame its agenda, and the necessary principles to secure and advance the rights of its citizens, said Ms. Hayden.

Hayden also talked about the recent developments on the prisoner release saying, “If carefully managed, could form an important confidence-building measure to start the peace process.”

UNAMA also welcomed the three teleconferences between the Taliban and the Afghan government and urged the parties to resolve the prisoner release issue swiftly in accordance with international law.

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Children included among refugees forced into river by Iranian border guards

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

Findings show some children were among the ones thrown killed into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards.

The families of those who were thrown into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards a few weeks back have demanded the government share the results of the fact-finding committee with them.

The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has also acknowledged that there were children among the victims.

Naeem Nazari, deputy head of the Independent Human Rights Commission, said their investigation revealed that several children included those thrown into the river by Iranian border guards.

Herat Governor Sayed Wahid Qatali also said that the investigation was ongoing, and some considerable results had been achieved, which would soon be made public.

On the other hand, the families of those who were thrown into the river by Iranian border guards are asking the government to share with them the results of the investigation conducted by the fact-finding committee.

A delegation led by the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister arrived in Afghanistan a few days ago and met with Afghan officials.

The Iranian and Afghan delegations stressed that this issue should be seriously investigated and that the results should be shared with the people.

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Prisoner releases; Taliban’s technical team arrives in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

A Taliban technical team has arrived in Kabul to conduct verification for the Taliban prisoners.

The Taliban’s political office in Qatar and the Office of National Security Council confirmed that the team had come to Kabul only to take care of some technical work on the releases of prisoners at both ends.

Suhail Shaheen, the spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said that a five-member Taliban team had been sent to Kabul to verify and release the prisoners and that the team would address some technical problems.

The Office National Security Council also confirmed that the Taliban and the government’s technical delegation were working to ease the release of prisoners.

On the other hand, the Pentagon believes that the Afghan government has taken an effective step towards peace by deciding to release 2,000 Taliban prisoners in the new round.

Many believe that as hurdles have been removed to an extent, the opportunity for bringing peace should not be missed this time.

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COVID-19

Coronavirus update; cases exceed 13,000 in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

With 580 newly registered cases, the total number of cases for the Coronavirus reached 13,036, with 235 deaths.

The Ministry of Public Health announced the 580 new cases of Coronavirus as follows: Kabul with 322 cases, Herat with 139, Panjshir with 27, Balkh with 22, Farah with 21, Paktia with 20, Faryab with 15, and Parwan with 14 cases.

The Ministry of Public Health also expressed concerns about the lack of facilities saying that the Darulaman Palace, which was designated for the Coronavirus patients, has been evacuated.

Waheed Majrooh, a deputy of the Health Ministry, said that if medical supplies are not provided soon, it will cause major troubles.

Majrooh added that the Darulaman Palace, which was the center of abstraction, had been evacuated, and its beds had been transferred to hospitals.

The Ministry of Public Health emphasized that the least people can do is using masks, keeping social distancing, and washing their hands more often.

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