Thousands of people have been displaced and critical health services interrupted, after fighting erupted last weekend between security forces and Taliban fighters in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, the UN humanitarian office has reported.
The United Nations has strongly condemned Saturday’s suicide attack on a government building in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, and underlined that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan told the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that his country was moving into the next five years “with a clear plan for progressing the values of the UN”, which are enshrined in its own constitution.
The first ever direct talks between Afghan Government representatives and the Taliban which began on Saturday, present “a major opportunity” to finally realise the “long-held aspirations” of the people, for a peaceful future, the UN chief has said.
The UN’s top official in Afghanistan has warned that with the formal launch of direct peace negotiations imminent, near-record violence in the country is creating an atmosphere of mistrust that risks derailing long-sought talks between the Government and the Taliban.
Although Afghanistan’s COVID-19 crisis is “vast”, what people really want are jobs and security, according to a senior UN relief official.
In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, the UN Development Programme’s representative there, Abdallah Dardari, explains how the agency is already helping the Government to confront the pandemic, and supporting the rising number of families falling into poverty.
The death of nine human rights defenders since the beginning of this year marks “the emergence of a truly alarming trend", an independent UN rights expert said on Friday, calling on Afghanistan to prevent any further killings.