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COVID19 & war; Afghanistan government asks Taliban for ceasefire

ceasefire
epa06812906 Alleged Taliban militants meets Afghan people as a group of Taliban visits to greet people as a goodwill gesture amid a three-day ceasefire on second day of Eid al-Fitr, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, 16 June 2018. Earlier in the month, President Ghani's government had announced a temporary ceasefire, starting on 12 June, to last until the end of the festival. The Taliban had followed suit a few days later and announced a three-day partial ceasefire during the festival. EPA/STR

By: Lailuma Noori

Following coronavirus outbreak in the country, Afghanistan government has once again called on the Taliban group to reduce violence and maintain ceasefire to prevent coronavirus outbreak in the country.

In a statement released the other day from Afghanistan ministry of foreign affairs, Afghanistan welcomed Saudi Arabia’s decision for maintaining ceasefire in Yemen. In the statement, Afghanistan government has invited the Taliban group for ceasefire in the country.

Earlier in the week, the Saudi-led coalition declared a two-week truce with Houthi rebels. The ceasefire came in response to a call from the UN chief.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hailed King Salman Abdul Aziz Al Saud’s initiative and praised the kingdom’s cooperation in fighting Covid-19 in Yemen.

The statement added the Afghan government called on the Taliban to observe a ceasefire in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Afghanistan.

“The Afghan government invites the Taliban to help coronavirus-affected families and deliver to them humanitarian aid and renounce the conflict,” it added.

Meanwhile, Afghan political experts believe that ceasefire is a big test for the Taliban group and consider that a short-term truce won’t have any positive impacts on situation in the country. According to the political experts, Afghanistan needs lasting peace and stability and needs permanent ceasefire.

It is needed that the group stops violence and enters direct negotiations with Afghanistan government particularly at a time when coronavirus outbreak is on the rise in the country where hundreds of Afghans have now infected to this virus countrywide.

Previously, the European Union (EU) Delegation had called for an immediate implementation of a nationwide humanitarian ceasefire in Afghanistan in line with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres´ appeal for a stop to the armed conflict.

The COVID-19 pandemic was threatening all Afghans alike, women and men, young and the elderly, said the European Union and EU heads of mission based in Kabul

“As the outbreak grows in the next days and weeks, strong safety measures are needed to protect lives at risk. Continued fighting would make it very difficult to contain the deadly disease, provide medical assistance and distribute international aid,” it added.

Several warring parties around the world have already agreed to observe a ceasefire. “Anyone who has the lives and the well-being of the Afghan people at heart should respond to this call with honesty and as a matter of urgency: Stop the fighting now!”

So far, Taliban has nodded to the call for ceasefire in Afghanistan to control and prevent coronavirus outbreak in the country. Nevertheless, Afghanistan government had welcomed the UN and EU demand for ceasefire with the Taliban group.

War between Afghanistan government and Taliban fighters is going on in various parts of the country amid of coronavirus outbreak in the country where the number of those inflicting to the COVID19 is increasing day by day.

 

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.