Addressing a special United Nations’ Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, UNAMA chief Deborah Lyons said that Taliban attacks on towns and cities are dragging Afghanistan into a “deadlier and more destructive” phase of urban warfare resembling the bloodiest days of fighting in Syria and the Balkans.
Lyons addressed the UN Security Council as the hardline insurgents sparing no effort to target government officials, media and civil activists, in a bid to spread fears among Afghan masses. “The war in Afghanistan has entered a new, deadlier, and more destructive phase,” she said.
The special meeting on Afghanistan included briefings and consultations on the latest developments in Afghanistan. India, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council for August, has consistently called for an immediate cessation of violence and a comprehensive ceasefire while steps are taken to advance the intra-Afghan dialogue to find a political settlement.
An announcement about the Security Council meeting was made two days after Afghan foreign minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar called his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Tuesday and sought an emergency session of the UN body to discuss ways to halt the Taliban’s violence and atrocities across Afghanistan.
Among others, UK, US, Estonia, Russia, China, Nigeria and Afghan Ambassadors as well as chairwoman of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission briefed the session on Taliban’s increasing violence, mass murder and migration of people, and the group’s demolition of vital infrastructures in Afghanistan.
The meeting showed that the international community has consensus against Taliban atrocity and that supporting a legitimate, independent and prosperous Afghanistan. They have also acknowledged that Afghanistan cannot be taken by force, but a negotiated settlement is the only option ahead.
Indeed, UN has played some constructive role in the establishment of the new political system in the post-Taliban era. The United Nations made its utmost efforts and assistance with Afghanistan in last twenty years, in different areas of political, social, cultural and health affairs.
But now, despite the fact that the country burns in the fire of war and plunder, the houses are being burned, children and women are massacred, millions of the civilians are displaced and the war crime and crime against humanity repeatedly occur, the organization has not taken any steps, but issuing just statements and condemning the terrorist acts.
The UN also documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan, but they are yet to play role in curbing Taliban violence and closing their financial and logistical channels. Since the Afghan peace talks are stalled and Taliban are yet to show will for negotiation, then there is a strong need for a third party mediation.
No party is capable to mediate, rather than the UN, as it shows firm will and honesty in ending this tragedy. Hence, it is high time for the UN to play its active and honest role in ending the conflict in Afghanistan. The impartial and honest intermediation of the UN can create confidence and build consensus at the regional and international levels.