EU, int’l missions condemn kidnappings, targeted killings

KABUL (TOLOnews): The EU Delegation and the diplomatic missions in Afghanistan in a joint statement released on Sunday condemned the targeted killings and kidnappings in the country.

The EU Delegation and the diplomatic missions of Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark,

Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, the

Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States said that the continuation of assassinations, kidnappings, and destruction of vital infrastructure – all which directly harm the Afghan people.

“The violence is targeted at civil society, judicial, media, religious, medical and civilian government representatives who are essential to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan,” it said.

“The Taliban bears responsibility for the majority of this targeted violence, and its attacks undermine state institutions and contribute to an insecure environment in which terrorist and criminal groups are able to freely operate,” it said.

The statement has called on the government of Afghanistan to more actively and transparently investigate these attacks to ensure that those who instigate and carry out violence against the population are identified and brought to justice.

“The international community has invested heavily in energy, food security, water resources, and road infrastructure for the benefit of the Afghan people,” it said, adding that “We condemn the on-going destruction of vital infrastructure, including digging up roads, destroying cell towers, and blowing up energy stations by the Taliban.”

“These actions serve no purpose besides hurting the Afghan people who – largely due to decades of conflict -suffer from food insecurity and significant economic and development challenges, further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic,” it said.

The stastmennt also said that het Taliban must understand that their violent, destructive actions outrage the world and must cease if peace is to come to Afghanistan.

“We are standing side by side with those who are committed to bringing about an end to the conflict through an inclusive political settlement that ensures this country remains sovereign, united and democratic, at peace with itself and its neighbors, and preserving the human rights, development and economic achievements made over the past 19 years,” it said.

“We continue to be steadfast in our resolve to assist the people of Afghanistan in achieving peace, justice, and development. We expect the Taliban to demonstrate its support for the people of Afghanistan by ending the violence, stopping the destruction of vital infrastructure, and committing to a sustainable peace, for the benefit of all Afghans,” it added.

Early this month, the Afghan security officials said that the Taliban is behind the “targeted killings.”

Five journalists and two civil society activists have been killed in various incidents since November 7, while a number of attacks has been reported on government employees in different provinces of the country.