UNSC mulling over draft statement condemning Taliban offensive: Report

The UNSC draft statement, once formal, would condemn “in the strongest terms possible” the armed attacks by Taliban forces on cities and towns across Afghanistan, which have resulted in a large number of civilian casualties.
A member of the Taliban insurgent and other people stand during an execution in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. (File Photo / REUTERS)
A member of the Taliban insurgent and other people stand during an execution in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. (File Photo / REUTERS)
Published on Aug 13, 2021 08:07 AM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is mulling over a draft statement that would condemn the recent Taliban attacks on cities and towns in Afghanistan and warn of sanctions against the insurgents. The statement, seen by the Reuters news agency, is reportedly being drafted by the countries of Estonia and Norway. The draft has to be agreed upon by the 15-member UN body before it becomes a formal condemnation, the agency cited diplomats as saying.

Also Read | Taliban claim to capture Afghanistan's second-largest city of Kandahar: Reports

The UNSC draft statement, once formal, would condemn “in the strongest terms possible” the armed attacks by Taliban forces on cities and towns across Afghanistan, which have resulted in a large number of civilian casualties. The development comes amid a highly precarious political situation in the country, as the Taliban insurgents continue to take over provincial capitals in a move to further pressurise the Ashraf Ghani government operating from Kabul.

Taliban claimed to have captured Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan and the birthplace of the movement, on Friday. According to news agencies, the insurgents have taken control of as many as 12 of Afghanistan's provincial capitals by now and still continue to press forward with mounting offensives.

The UNSC draft statement condemning the Taliban "strongly affirms that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not recognized at the United Nations and declares that it does not and will not support the establishment of any government in Afghanistan imposed through military force or restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."

Also Read | Powered by Pakistan, Taliban racing towards Kabul

The draft text also underlines a council "readiness to impose additional measures on those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians, and individuals or entities engaging in, or providing support for, acts that threaten peace, stability or security."

Deborah Lyons, the UN special envoy for Afghanistan, told the Security Council last week that the situation in the country has entered a “deadlier and more destructive phase” and also doubted the Taliban's commitment to a political settlement.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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