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UN urges de-escalation in build-up to talks

UN urges de-escalation in build-up to talks

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Jul 02, 2020 - 11:20

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United Nations on Thursday asked the warring parties in Afghanistaninfo-icon to take effective measures to protect civilians.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also urged de-escalation of the conflict to save lives and create a favourable environmentinfo-icon for the upcoming peace talks in Doha this month. 

In a statement, the mission said it was particularly concerned at a recent spate of violent incidents targeting members of civil societyinfo-icon.

It added deliberate attacks on religious leaders, healthcare workers, members of the judiciary, civil society activists, NGOs and journalists were both shocking and criminal.

Deborah Lyons, the secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, said: “It’s taken enormous work and some brave decisions for Afghans to reach the point of being on the eve of unprecedented intra-Afghan negotiations.”

She encouraged parties to lay the necessary foundation for the talks by showing their commitment to peace through immediate and concrete actions to protect civilians and reduce violence.

“There are spoilers who do not wish to see an end to war,” alleged Lyons, who stressed: “No matter what tactics they employ to de-rail the peace process, they cannot be allowed to succeed.”

The use of indirect fire during ground engagements in civilian-populated areas caused roughly 25 per cent of civilian casualties in the second quarter of 2020, the mission said.

pr/mud

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