IS emergence in Afghanistan worries UN, Russia
UNAMA head Nicholas Haysom expressed his apprehension while briefing the Security Council on the current situation in Afghanistan. He also touched on renewed efforts to revive the peace drive.
Attempts were ongoing to broker an end to 13 years of conflict in the country, where a UN-mandated combat mission ended in December 2014, the diplomat said.
Haysom informed the 15-member body: "It is UNAMA's assessment that the group's presence is of concern, but that ISIL's significance is not so much a function of its intrinsic capacities in the area…”
However, he explained, the group’s potential to offer an alternative flagpole to which otherwise isolated splinter groups could rally.
In his report, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a handful of Taliban commanders had declared allegiance to Islamic State. "There is no indication of widespread or systematic support for ISIL in Afghanistan."
Russia's Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said his country was worried about the increasing terrorist threat in Afghanistan and broadening of the Islamic State’s geographical activities.
Extremists in northern Afghanistan, bordering several former Soviet states, were actively engaging in propaganda and recruiting besides setting up camps, the envoy noted.
He added: "The states of the region have legitimate concerns about this turn of events. Turning it into yet another safe haven for fighters and extremists is categorically unacceptable."
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