UN calls on Taliban to desist violence during election day

In a statement issued on Wednesday, September 25, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) called on Taliban “to desist from any activity that would interfere with the elections, particularly with regard to the safety of voters and all other civilians engaged in the election.”

Tadamichi Yamamot, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, highlighted that attacks directed against polling centers and civilians participating in the electoral process are clear violations of international law and may amount to war crimes.

He furthermore stressed that perpetrators of such crimes must be held accountable and urged the Taliban to retract any instructions which could disrupt elections.

The United Nations calls on all parties to de-escalate the conflict around the electoral period and to take urgent measures to better protect civilians from being harmed in any military operations.

In reaction to the UN call, the Taliban issued statement early morning today, September 26, saying the group will disrupt the election process by “attacking all security personnel” and “targeting offices and centers that operate for this staged show (the presidential polls).”

The 2019 presidential elections is set to be held on Saturday, September 28, which costs an estimated USD 149 million.

As many as 14 candidates including president Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah are competing in the polls to be elected as next president of Afghanistan.