UN chief warns of ‘global terrorist threat’ in Afghanistan, urges protection of rights

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned against the rise of a “global terrorist threat” in Afghanistan following the collapse of the country’s government by the Taliban militant group, calling for measure to be taken to guarantee the rights of the entire Afghan people across the country.

Guterres told the UN Security Council on Monday that the 15-member body should “use all tools at its disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan” and guarantee that basic human rights of Afghans will be respected.

“We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan," the UN chief said, urging immediate end to violence in the war-torn country..”

The United Nations, which has about 3,000 national staff and about 300 international staff on the ground in Afghanistan, announced on Friday that some staff had been relocated to Kabul after the Taliban intensified attacks to seize further territory in the country.

"The United Nations presence will adapt to the security situation. But above all, we will stay and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need," Guterres said.

Moreover, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the UN Ghulam Isaczai told the Security Council that he was speaking for millions of people "whose fate hangs in the balance," including women and girls "who are about to lose their freedom to go to school, to work and to participate in the political, economic, and social life of the country."

Isaczai called on the council and the United Nations not to recognize any administration that achieves power by force or any government that is not inclusive.

The Afghan ambassador also called for the immediate establishment of an inclusive transitional government.

The Taliban laid siege to Kabul on Sunday, forcing the sitting Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, to flee to an undisclosed location.

Ghani, whose current whereabouts are unknown, left Afghanistan when the Taliban entered Kabul virtually unopposed, and said he wanted to avoid bloodshed.

The unfolding events have led to chaos and confusion, with thousands of Afghan civilians and diplomats swarming Kabul airport to take evacuation flights.

In 2001, the US-led invasion of Afghanistan removed the Taliban from power. The security situation in the country, however, deteriorated through the years.

After US President Joe Biden ordered a hasty withdrawal of American forces by September 1, the militants intensified their offensive and rapidly overran major cities.


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