UN concerned about increased violence in Afghanistan


KABUL: The United Nations Secretary-General has expressed concern over the intensified levels of violence in Afghanistan, asking for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to push forward stagnated intra-Afghan talks in Qatar.

Addressing Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged for redoubling of efforts toward a ceasefire to save lives and prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“I am also deeply concerned about continued high levels of violence, particularly the recent heinous attacks on civilians, including students. The Afghan people have suffered for far too long,” he said.

The ceasefire would create a conducive environment for the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha – a major opportunity to realize the long-held aspirations of the Afghan people, he said.

An inclusive process, in which women, young people and victims of conflict are meaningfully represented, offers the best hope of sustainable peace, Guterres added.

The UN chief said that the Afghan women have paid a high price during the conflict and they should be given an active role in the ongoing peace negotiations.

Progress in peace in Afghanistan would contribute to the development in the entire region and it would help millions of displaced Afghans to return home, he concluded.