In a statement released Monday, the U.N. Security Council called for an end to the violence erupting in Afghanistan and the creation of a new representative government that has the “full, equal, and meaningful participation of women.”
In its first press announcement since the Taliban’s usurpation of the Afghan regime, the body demanded that the parties involved in the territory’s current turmoil commit to ending human rights abuses and upholding international norms. The UN did not specifically pinpoint the Taliban as the party responsible for the country’s deteriorating situation.
“The members of the security council expressed deep concern about the number of reported serous violations of international humanitarian law and human right abuses in communities affected by the ongoing armed conflict across the country, and stressed the urgent and imperative need to bring the perpetrators to justice…They underscored the particular vulnerability of humanitarian and medical personnel, interpreters, and other international service providers,” the notice continued.
The UN’s comments come after the United States deployed thousands of troops and a number of military aircraft to Kabul to evacuate diplomatic officials, American nationals, interpreters, and other individuals. Chaos ensued at the airport Sunday and Monday as hundreds of Afghan civilians swarmed the tarmac, desperately trying to gain passage on a departing flight. At least three Afghans perished while clinging to a plane taking off from the runway. There were sightings of Afghans, who had clutched onto plane tires, falling to their deaths, according to reports.
The Taliban, a radical Islamic fundamentalist organization, openly advocates for a society that subscribes to and operates under sharia law, a strict moral code informed by the religion’s holy book, the Quran. During the group’s reign in the 1990s, the Taliban required Afghan women to be accompanied by a male escort to leave their homes. Nail polish and recreational activities deemed immodest such as dancing were forbidden, and violators often received harsh punishment.
Now that the Taliban occupies the country, Afghan women will likely be relegated to the home and prohibited from serving in government or engaging in civil society.
Council members urged that negotiations commence to “resolve the current crisis of authority” and find a “peaceful settlement through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process.” They declared the need for “restoration of security, civil and constitutional order.”
“Institutional continuity and adherence to Afghanistan’s international obligations, as well as the safety and security of all Afghan and international citizens, must be ensured” the statement added.
Estonia and Norway authored the statement, and all 15 council members subsequently approved it at an emergency meeting on Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested last week that a desire for international legitimacy might temper some of the Taliban’s more aggressive tactics.
“The Taliban has to make a determination as to what they want their role to be in the international community,” she said.
President Biden is expected to return early from the Camp David retreat and deliver remarks on the Afghanistan crisis Monday afternoon.
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