Afghanistan: Security Council voices fear on violence as UN envoy talks of insurgency

26 July 2006

Expressing concern over the worsening violence in Afghanistan, the Security Council today reaffirmed its support for the Government and the armed forces as they battle what the top United Nations envoy to the impoverished nation called an “insurgency” that seeks to restore life under the Taliban.

The Council also expressed its support for the work of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Operation Enduring Freedom troops in working alongside Afghan forces, according to a statement read to the press by Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France, its President for July.

“They recognise once again the inter-connected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan and reaffirm that sustainable progress on security, governance and development, as well as on the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics is mutually reinforcing, and welcome the continuing effort of the Afghan Government and international community to address these challenges,” the statement said.

The 15-member body welcomed the Government’s efforts to ensure democratic debate, “expressed hope” the pace of reform will accelerate and also applauded efforts made under the Afghan Compact, a multi-billion dollar blueprint for partnership between the Government and the international community to bolster security, economic development and counter-narcotics efforts that was adopted in January.

The press statement followed a closed-door Council briefing by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative to Afghanistan Tom Koenigs. He later told reporters there was an insurgency in the south of the country, emphasizing this has to be dealt with using both military and political measures.

“At the moment we have a situation in five provinces of the south of an insurgency, of a movement that wants to overthrow the actual Government and re-establish what Afghanistan had under the Taliban, and the term also implies that the solution cannot be only a military or police solution but must be a political solution,” he said.

Mr. Koenigs said there were “different groups of fighters” arrayed against the Government and international forces, including “the old and highly ideological leaders of the terrorist Taliban movement [and] cross-border fighters who are young people trained in fundamentalist madrassahs, those who have historically made up the big amount of the Taliban.”

“Plus there are now in Afghanistan young people without other alternative or people forced into the ranks and files of the Taliban and there are people either alienated or frustrated by Taliban controversies or Afghan Government movements which they contravene.”

 

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