UN would support any inquiry into alleged mass graves in Afghanistan, spokesman says

UN would support any inquiry into alleged mass graves in Afghanistan, spokesman says

Although it has not been formally approached by the Afghan Government about helping in any investigation of mass grave sites in the northern part of the country, the United Nations would be prepared to support any inquiry, a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today.

"By all means, yes, we would be prepared to support [an investigation] and help ourselves and also others who would have the expertise on it," spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told a press briefing in Kabul.

The spokesman reiterated that it would be ideal to protect the gravesite at Dasht-e-Leily, as recommended by the country's Independent Human Rights Commission. "We also think that the site should be protected," he said. "The conditions for that have not been possible." In the meantime, the UN Mission will send people to the area to visit the site periodically.

Meanwhile, Mr. de Almeida e Silva said that the disarmament process that was to have begun on Monday in Gosfandi, Sar-i-Pul Province, has been halted, with the factions in that area working to find a mutually acceptable solution.

A UNAMA political officer had travelled to Gosfandi following factional fighting last week that left eight people dead, but left the area this morning with the process of disarming combatants unresolved.