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Afghan official's killing shows world must stay engaged to keep peace - Annan

Afghan official's killing shows world must stay engaged to keep peace - Annan

Condemning "in the strongest possible terms" the assassination of Afghanistan's Vice-President and Minister of Public Works, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said the killing demonstrated the need for resolute national and international efforts to prevent renewed conflict and consolidate peace.

"The assassination of Haji Qadir is a graphic reminder of the fragile situation in Afghanistan - less than a month after the successful conclusion of the Emergency Loya Jirga," or grand council, a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement on the murder of Haji Abdul Qadir. "The Secretary-General urges the Afghan authorities to do everything in their power to conduct a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice."

The Secretary-General appealed to the Afghan authorities in Kabul as well as in the provinces to strengthen ongoing efforts towards the achievement of security and stability in the country.

"Most importantly, the international community must remain fully engaged in the peace process to ensure that the Afghan people will not again be the victim of a senseless civil war," the statement added.

To this end, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, and the UN Assistance Mission (UNAMA) will continue to assist the Transitional Administration in the implementation of the Bonn Agreement and to support the Afghan people towards peace and reconstruction, according to the statement.

Mr. Brahimi, meanwhile, also condemned the "heinous" assassination in a statement released in Kabul on Saturday. He called on the Transitional Administration "to undertake without delay an in-depth investigation that will throw full light on the circumstances of this murder and lead to the arrest of those responsible."

Both Mr. Annan and his envoy also extended the UN's sympathy to the family of Haji Abdul Qadir and to the Transitional Administration and the people of Afghanistan.