The UN Security Council is Concerned about Developments in Afghanistan
In New York, members of the United Nations Security Council have expressed concern about the increasing violence in Afghanistan and the advance of the Taliban rebels. The US, Russia and China share that concern, but the UN does not really have much clout on the ground in Afghanistan.
UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons painted a very bleak picture of the developments beforehand. She now compared the situation in Afghanistan to wars in Syria and earlier to Bosnia. More than a thousand civilians have been killed in the offensives of the fundamentalist Taliban rebels in the past month.
Lyons was critical of the Taliban: “A party that is really committed to a negotiated agreement does not risk so many lives,” it said. She denounces the Taliban’s indifference to the plight of civilians as the movement attacks major cities. Negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar, meanwhile, are making little progress. (Read more below the photo).
For a change, the great powers did not face each other in the UN. Both the US, Russia and China are concerned about the developments in Afghanistan: the rise of the Taliban and the slide into all-out civil war. Neither side benefits from this, but on the other hand, no one seems to intend to interfere again with Afghanistan and the war there.
Top US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis wants the Taliban to stop their offensive and enter into real talks with the government. “The Taliban should know that we will not tolerate any military takeover by them or the establishment of a new emirate,” DeLaurentis said. On the other hand, the US will have withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan by the end of this month, and that is why the Taliban are now going on the offensive.
The Russian delegation also fears a total civil war in Afghanistan. This is annoying for Moscow because Russia has promised to assist Central Asian republics such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan if the Taliban attacked them. Moreover, Russian troops will also participate in military exercises in those republics.
China – which shares a short border with Afghanistan – blames the Americans for leaving Afghanistan in chaos and wants more engagement from Washington. Beijing recently received assurances from the Taliban that it will not allow attacks on China from Afghanistan. Still, Afghan UN Ambassador Javid Ahmad Qaem warned China not to rely too much on that. After all, the Taliban has members of Muslim rebels in the Xinjiang region.