New York [US], June 23 (ANI): As the major indicators for Afghanistan's security and development looking "negative or stagnant", the threats that lie following the withdraw of foreign troops from the country cannot be overstated, according to the top UN official.
Addressing the Security Council on Tuesday, Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the "possible slide toward dire scenarios is undeniable."
The Special Representative described the mid-April announcement, led by the Biden administration, of troop withdrawal after two decades of war as a "seismic tremor" for the country, which had happened unexpectedly fast.
The decision to pull out was part of the February 2020 agreement between the US and the Taliban to create space for peace among Afghans, instead, "actions on the battlefield have been far greater than progress at the negotiating table," she added.
She told ambassadors that the public and the diplomatic community in Kabul have been "alarmed at the lack of political unity", which must be addressed or risk contributing to further Taliban territorial advances.
Through its intensified military campaign, the Taliban has taken more than 50 of Afghanistan's 370 districts since the beginning of May.
"Most districts that have been taken surround provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn", warned the Special Representative.
The UN official said there was barely time left "to prevent a worse-case scenario from materializing", pointing to the reality that "increased conflict in Afghanistan means increased insecurity for many other countries, near and far". (ANI)