Climate of impunity leads to rights violations in Afghanistan: UN report

26 October 2001

With world attention focusing on the worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the massive refugee flows and internal displacement highlight the need to work towards a settlement that addresses the root causes of conflict and human rights violations in the country, a United Nations expert writes in a report released today at UN Headquarters.

In his interim report to the UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur Kamal Hossain calls attention to the recurrent massacres carried out within Afghanistan, calling for measures to address the climate of impunity that allows such atrocities to take place repeatedly, in defiance of Security Council directives and appeals from the international community.

The report calls for an approach that addresses the Afghan crisis in all of its political, military, humanitarian and human rights dimensions. "This approach would recognize that, in the prevailing situation, the Afghan people are being denied the exercise of their right to determine their own future," Mr. Hossain writes.

Continuing external foreign interference lies at the root of the prolongation of the conflict, according to the Rapporteur, who says the Afghan people's right to choose their form of government through an internationally acceptable mechanism must be a key element of a durable settlement.

"The incentive that could encourage all segments of the Afghan population to cooperate with the international community would be the prospect of significant international support for a national plan for rehabilitation and reconstruction that would enable the millions of refugees and the internally displaced persons to return to their homes," the report states. "[Such aid would] allow all Afghans to rebuild their lives in a unified Afghanistan where their security from external interference and non-intervention would be internationally guaranteed."

 

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