The head of the UN aid mission in Afghanistan said in Kabul on Wednesday that the Taliban would lose the international legitimacy it had achieved through its talks in Doha if the group fulfills its obligation to negotiate with the Afghan government for a political solution to the conflict. does not do. .
“If there is no movement at the negotiating table, and instead human rights abuses and, worse, atrocities take place in the districts they control, the Taliban may be seen as a viable partner for the international community. Will not be seen as such,” said Deborah Lyon, addressing one. Meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) set up in 2006 to coordinate between the Afghan government and the international community.
The Taliban have been officially talking to a team of Afghans, including government representatives, since September last year, but there has been little movement in that discussion.
Earlier this month, a high-level delegation of Afghans, led by Abdullah Abdullah, head of Afghanistan’s National Reconciliation Council (HCNR), traveled to Doha to meet with the Taliban negotiating team in an effort to boost the process, but to no avail. not found.
The Taliban promised to negotiate with an Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRoA) team, as the Afghan team is called, signing a deal with the United States in February 2020 that will pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. paved.
However, only parts of that deal were met. Other parts, including meaningful intra-Afghan negotiations for a political solution, and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire as a result of that agreement, have yet to materialize.
In contrast, the level of violence in Afghanistan has increased since the announcement of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Over the past several months, the Taliban have made rapid territorial gains and besieged many cities, even though they have not yet captured a single city.
Lyons said the Taliban had received “successor responsibility” for the areas they occupied.
“The world is watching closely how they are working, especially towards the civilian population, women and minorities,” she said.
In the meeting attended by Afghan Presidents Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah, Lyons also pointed to the humanitarian crisis in the wake of escalating violence.
“Today there are 1.8 million Afghans facing serious humanitarian needs. This is double the number in the same category last year. This represents half the country,” he said.
The crisis, which involves millions of people internally displaced by violence, has been exacerbated by waves of COVID-19 and persistent drought.
According to the United Nations, civilian casualties this year are 50% higher than in the same period last year. Half of all those killed or injured are women and children.