The European Union has called for an “urgent, comprehensive, and permanent” cease-fire in Afghanistan to “give peace a chance.”
In a joint statement on Thursday, EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic criticized the Taliban’s “intensified strikes” as causing a “major escalation of violence” across the country.
The statement specifically mentioned last week’s armed attack on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) office in Herat province, and fighting in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province’s capital, which resulted in at least 40 civilian casualties. And the last Tuesday’s deadly car bombing, targeting Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi’s Kabul residence, which killed eight people and injured 20 others.
The statement also emphasized that violations of international humanitarian law and human rights principles, particularly in Taliban-controlled areas, continue to rumble through the war-torn country, such as “arbitrary and extrajudicial killings of civilians, public lashing of women, and infrastructure destruction.”
“Some of these acts could amount to war crimes and will have to be investigated. Those Taliban fighters or commanders responsible must be held accountable,” it added.
Faced with deadly Taliban onslaught, the Afghan government on Wednesday reiterated its calls for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the ongoing violence in the country.
In the first half of this year, the UN in Afghanistan recorded an alarming 5,183 civilian casualties, with 1,659 killed and 3,524 injured, a 47 percent increase over the same period in 2020.
The UN in Afghanistan has documented an alarming 5,183 civilian casualties, 1,659 killed and 3,524 injured, in