New York (UNA-OIC) – With the war in Afghanistan now in “a new, deadlier, and more destructive phase”, the top UN official in the country appealed on Friday for the Security Council to act to avert a catastrophe.
Special Representative Deborah Lyons, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the advance of the Taliban in recent months, now targeting major cities, is reminiscent of the Syrian and Balkan wars.
“Afghanistan is now at a dangerous turning point,” she said. “Ahead lies either a genuine peace negotiation or a tragically intertwined set of crises: an increasingly brutal conflict combined with an acute humanitarian situation and multiplying human rights abuses.”
Warning that the consequences could extend beyond the country’s borders, Ms. Lyons urged ambassadors to seize the opportunity and demonstrate commitment “to prevent Afghanistan from descending into a situation of catastrophe so serious that it would have few, if any, parallels this century.”
Having seized rural areas in the wake of the departure of foreign troops, the Taliban are now advancing on major cities, and the provincial capitals of Kandahar, Herat, and Lashkar Gah are under significant pressure.