On Thursday afternoon, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) received a petition requesting justice for the victims of crimes allegedly committed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hizb-e-Islami party.
In a press statement issued by UNAMA on Thursday, it said it has welcomed agreements that contribute to a reduction of violence in Afghanistan towards allowing Afghans to live in peace with each other, and remains encouraged by the progress in the implementation of the agreement between the government of Afghanistan and Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin.
“In this context, the United Nations maintains that attention to human rights is of critical importance, and that the promotion and protection of human rights is a key component of genuine and lasting peace. The United Nations views transitional justice and reconciliation as fundamental,” read the statement.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA meanwhile said: “Afghan citizens and others who have been victims of atrocities must not be deprived of their right to judicial redress.
“The United Nations will continue to support Afghans in their efforts to seek peace, justice and security.”
UNAMA stated that it welcomes efforts by the National Unity Government to engage all those interested in establishing an equitable peace and renouncing violence for good, and remains committed to supporting reconciliation processes that allow victims’ voices to be heard.
Hekmatyar signed a peace accord with the Afghan late last year and last month returned to Kabul for the first time in 20 years.
Earlier this month, Yamamoto, held an introductory meeting in Kabul with Hekmatyar.
In a statement issued after the meeting by UNAMA, they said the meeting took place as part of the United Nations support to the Afghan government’s efforts to engage all those interested in establishing equitable peace.
According to the statement, Yamamoto said that the Mission appreciated Hekmatyar and Hizb-e-Islami's commitment to peaceful engagement in the political space, in accordance with the Afghan Constitution and existing legal norms.
“Hekmatyar’s commitment to attain peace through negotiations and his call to all parties to end conflict through peaceful means was also appreciated,” read the statement.
Yamamoto highlighted that respect for human rights, including women’s rights and freedom of expression, would be essential for enhanced stability in the country.