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UNSC asks for immediate end to targeted killings in Afghanistan

By: Suraya Raiszada

Following increasing targeted killings by terrorist groups in Afghanistan and the recent motor bomb attack in 14th PD of Herat city, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has asked for immediate end to targeted killings in Afghanistan. The United Nations Security Council in a statement unanimously condemned in the strongest terms the alarming number of attacks particularly targeting civilians in Afghanistan.
“These heinous attacks have targeted civil servants, the judiciary, the media, healthcare and humanitarian workers, including women in prominent positions, those who protect and promote human rights, and ethnic and religious minorities,” the statement said. The members of the Security Council called for an immediate end to these targeted attacks and stressed the urgent and imperative need to bring the perpetrators to justice.  They recalled that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians. They underlined that deliberate attacks targeting civilians may constitute war crimes. The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern regarding the increase of these targeted attacks in the months following the start of the Afghanistan peace negotiations on 12 September 2020.  The UNSC says it recognized that sustainable peace can be achieved only through a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that aims at a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, as well as an inclusive political settlement to end the conflict in Afghanistan.  The Security Council members stressed the need for full, equal and meaningful participation of women in this regard.
The UNSC members strongly encouraged parties to the negotiations to pursue confidence-building measures, including reductions in violence, and to continue to engage in good faith.
The members of the Security Council also expressed their deep concerns about the threat posed by terrorism to Afghanistan and the region. Despite that Taliban is rejecting its hand in increasing targeted killings in the country, Afghanistan government and a number of international organizations considered the Taliban group as responsible for targeted killings, asking to immediate end to the attacks in the country.
In interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, a spokesperson to the ministry of interior say the responsible for targeted killings is the terrorist groups that do not have the ability to face ANDSF. “The country’s defense and security organs are assuring all the people of Afghanistan that they have strengthened their programs and plans to prevent from targeted killings and terrorist attacks in the country,” said Tariq Arian, a spokesperson to the ministry of interior. Meanwhile, a number of Afghan military experts believe that terrorist groups want to intensify their proxy war by targeted killings. “War, suicide attack, IED blast and targeted killings in recent years have killed and wounded thousands of Afghan innocent civilians,” said Yarmand, former military official. He asked the country’s defense and security organs to take serious action to prevent targeted killings and punish those involved in such attacks in the country. In most recent motor bomb attacks in 14th PD of Herat, seven people have been killed and more that other wounded including women and children and also 15 people’s houses were damaged .

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