Monday, July 24, 2017

UN condemns terrorist attack in Kabul, underscores need to protect civilians

31 May 2017 – Condemning the terrorist attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul, United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General and his Special Representative for the country as well as members of the Security Council underscored that all parties to the conflict are obliged, under international law, to ensure that civilians are protected from any harm.

“Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and can never be justified,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement attributable to his Spokesman.

“Those responsible for today’s attack must be brought to justice,” he added, underlining the need to reinforce the fight against terrorism and violent extremism

The UN chief also expressed his sympathies to the families of the victims, wished a speedy recovery to those injured, and reaffirmed the solidarity of the UN with the people and the Government of Afghanistan.

Also today, the UN Security Council, in a press statement stressed that those responsible for the bombing should be held accountable, and called on all UN Member States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Afghanistan and all other relevant authorities in this regard.

Reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constituted one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, members of the Security Council “reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

Hundreds of people – mostly civilians – were killed and injured when a suicide attacker detonated a vehicle-borne explosive device in downtown Kabul’s Wazir Akhbar Khan area, which also houses a number of diplomatic missions, this morning (local time).

While the Security Council says the attack resulted in more than 80 deaths and at least 350 injuries, news reports suggest the casualty numbers are expected to rise.

In addition to the loss of lives and injuries, the explosion also resulted in considerable damage to the immediate and surrounding, with some embassies being seriously affected.

“Beyond the immeasurable human suffering caused by today’s attack, the deliberate detonation of a massive truck bomb in a civilian area, particularly during the peaceful month of Ramadan, is morally reprehensible and an outrage,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, said in a news release, underscoring that the attack is a serious violation of humanitarian law.

“There can be no exceptions: the use of explosive weapons in civilian-populated areas must stop,” Mr. Yamamoto, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission, known as UNAMA, added.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan