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Taliban not fulfilling commitments: FM Atmar tells UN

By: The Kabul Times

Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar on Tuesday night spoke to the United Nations Security Council online and said that the Taliban has increased violence against Afghans, especially civilians, despite the foreign troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and he said the group has failed to live up to its commitments.
The members of the UN Security Council condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the recent attacks on schools, deminers in northern Baghlan province and civilians in Afghanistan, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Afghan ministry reported that the UN said that the rights of women, children and men are not negotiable under any conditions.
“The Taliban regime is completely unacceptable, and the international community does not support its return,” MoFA said, adding that the UN statement “expressed its support for the resumption of meaningful talks that lead to a ceasefire and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
International participants reassured the country that “they will continue to support the Afghan government, including the security forces, and maintain the achievements of the last two decades,” MoFA said.
At the meeting, Atmar spoke about the violation of the Taliban’s commitments.
“The Taliban has escalated the violence despite the fact that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has begun,” Atmar said. “The Taliban has not fulfilled its commitment to cut ties with regional and international terrorist groups and has not participated in meaningful peace talks for months,” he said.
In the meantime, the UN envoy in Afghanistan Deborah Lyons in a briefing to the United Nations Security Council said the recent “intensive military campaign” by the Taliban will lead to continued violence in the country, and she reiterated that any attempt to install a government in Kabul by force will go against everyone’s interest.
Lyons said the Taliban’s intensive military campaign “will lead to increased and prolonged violence that would extend the suffering of the Afghan people and threaten to destroy much of what has been built and hard-won in the last two decades.”
She said that the Taliban’s recent advances are even more significant and are the result of an intensified military campaign. More than 50 of Afghanistan’s 370 districts have fallen since the beginning of May, she said.
Most districts that have been taken are adjacent to provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn, she noted.
“This military campaign runs directly counter to recent statements by the head of the Taliban Political Commission that, and I quote, ‘We are committed to forging ahead with the other sides in an atmosphere of mutual respect (to) reach an agreement,’” she said.
For the Taliban to continue this intensive military campaign would be a tragic course of action, Lyons said.
It should be emphatically clear that any efforts to install a militarily imposed government in Kabul would go against the will of the Afghan people, and against the stated positions of the regional countries and the broader international community,” she hinted.
This comes as sources said Tuesday that 13 districts have fallen to the Taliban in the last 24 hours while the government retook control of three districts in the same period.
The UN envoy said that they hoped to accelerate the stalled negotiations in Doha through a proposed conference in Turkey in April but the Taliban “never officially responded to the invitation.”
She said that given the enormous suffering, UNAMA stresses the importance of putting victims and their needs at the forefront of the peace negotiations.
“This must include specific protections for minorities. The ongoing, frequent attacks against the Hazara community in Kabul are a terrible reminder of how the overall conflict is being used to target certain groups,” she added.

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