Ban ‘appalled’ at suicide attacks at Afghan provincial council office
1 April 2009 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned today’s suicide attacks in southern Afghanistan, in which two people were reportedly killed and a large number of civilians injured, including one staff member serving with the United Nations mission in the country (UNAMA).
Mr. Ban is “appalled and deeply saddened” by the attacks which occurred at the Provincial Council Office near the UN Office in Kandahar City, his spokesperson said in a statement.
“Such attacks indiscriminately targeting people and institutions committed to building a better future for the country are morally repugnant and can only set back the efforts to foster peace, reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan.”
The statement added that the Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the escalation of violence in Afghanistan. Just last month terrorist attacks against government buildings in the capital, Kabul, left at least 20 people dead and many more injured.
Last week in Moscow, Mr. Ban told the Special Conference on Afghanistan that terrorism, in addition to illicit drug trafficking and organized crime, is seriously impeding progress in the strife-torn nation.
He had noted that the country’s security situation is at a “delicate juncture,” but added that while conditions have deteriorated in recent months, indications of “new thinking and new commitment” from Afghanistan’s international partners are reasons for cautious optimism.
Afghanistan and its international partners met yesterday in The Hague and outlined a vision for the country that has four main priorities: strengthened security, enhanced regional cooperation, improved economic growth and stronger institutions.
With regard to addressing insecurity, there was a commitment by the participants at the meeting – which included President Hamid Karzai, Mr. Ban and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMA, Kai Eide – to increasing the size and capability of the Afghan Security Forces, which will gradually take the lead in protecting the Afghan people.