The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is deeply concerned that today’s protests have led to more violence and loss of life following Wednesday’s terrorist attack that caused hundreds of civilian casualties.
“The genuine anger expressed by the protesters, many of whom suffered the loss of family and friends, is fully understandable,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “But this tragic week has already added too much civilian suffering to Afghanistan, and further violence will not solve any problems.”
While recognizing the constitutional right of those with grievances to express them peacefully in public demonstrations, UNAMA reminds those protesting, and also those in a position to protect the protestors, that all have an obligation to avoid violence.
“During the emotional period following the horrific attack that took place this week in Kabul, it is imperative to seek ways to listen to and voice grievances peacefully,” said Mr Yamamoto, welcoming the Government’s willingness to meet with those who have protested today.
“I strongly discourage any actor from seeking opportunistically to use these very emotional and fragile moments to destabilize the situation and risk further harm to civilians,” said the UN envoy, who is also head of UNAMA.
UNAMA is encouraged that the Government of Afghanistan has stressed today that its security forces must ensure the principles of tolerance, professionalism and law-based behavior, and welcomes the Government’s commitment to prosecute and bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against the people.