The UN’s top envoy for Afghanistan has urged the international community to do everything possible to push the Taliban and the government from the battlefield back to the negotiating table, warning that “inertia” and the lack of action might lead to more years of bloodshed and conflict.
- Fifty of Afghanistan’s 370 districts have fallen to the Taliban since the beginning of May
- There was a 29 per cent increase in civilian casualties so far this year
- The US will withdraw its remaining 2,500-3,500 troops by September 11
Deborah Lyons told the UN Security Council that she cannot overstate her concern at the current situation, saying every major trend — politics, security, the peace process, the economy, the humanitarian emergency and tackling COVID-19 — is either “negative or stagnant”.
She said the Taliban’s increasing violence over the past year, even as now-stalled peace talks began in Qatar in September, and its latest intensified…