The violence this week across Afghanistan underscores the urgency of ending the conflict through a negotiated settlement and the suffering of the Afghan people must end, the UN envoy in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto said in a statement on Tues.
The Taliban-claimed attack in Kabul on Monday caused more than 100 civilian casualties, most of them injured, according to initial findings, the statement said.
Days earlier, Taliban assaults in Kunduz and in Baghlan resulted in grave harm to the civilian population. There were scores of civilian casualties.
He said that the United Nations remains concerned about the harm caused to civilians by the impact of pro-government aerial and search operations, including the 31 August aerial operation in Faryab that resulted in the death of 12 civilians and injured five others, the majority women and children.
In the context of so much suffering, now is the time to seek unity and solidarity, Mr. Yamamoto said.
“I have spoken with a broad spectrum of Afghanistan’s leaders, highlighting the importance of unity during this period leading to elections. Ensuring security in Kabul, and across the country, is an urgent priority, as this country continues to experience high numbers of civilian casualties,” he added.
He said that the ultimate objective in Afghanistan must be a negotiated intra-Afghan settlement to the conflict.
“Meaningful steps must take place now to obtain an immediate and nationwide halt to violence. The United Nations stands ready to help,” the UN envoy said.
He called on all members of the international community to continue to help put an end to this violence and support the progress made in building the foundations for a stable and lasting peace.
He also urged all parties, here in Afghanistan and abroad, to seize any opportunity for peace and come together in meaningful negotiations.