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UN notes progress made by security forces ahead of polls

UN notes progress made by security forces ahead of polls

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Oct 11, 2018 - 10:41

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon (UNAMA) on Thursday said despite significant challenges, progress had been made by the country’s security forces in creating conditions for the majority of citizens to exercise their right to vote.

"Afghanistan’s security forces are fully responsible for providing security for the elections process," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan.

Adequate security was required to give the opportunity to as many eligible voters as possible to exercise their constitutional rights, remarked Yamamoto, who is also head of UNAMA.

The Afghans should not be obstructed, intimidated or denied their right to choose their representatives and shape their country's future, the UN diplomat stressed in a statement.

“Any violence or intimidation directed at voters, candidates or electoral officials is totally unacceptable, and I unequivocally condemn it,” the UN envoy said of recent attacks across the country.

UNAMA welcomed the allocation of additional resources for female security personnel to enhance womeninfo-icon’s participation in the democratic exercise.

The joint security planning directive on elections was signed in 2017 by the three main national security organs, as well as the IECinfo-icon and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance. This commitment was followed by extensive security assessments of the polling centres by Afghan security agencies.

The October 20 elections are the first in the modern era that will be fully handled by Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

While fulfilling their critical role in providing security, UNAMA noted the Afghan security forces also had a responsibility to remain politically impartial in discharging their duties.

pr/sa/mud

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