KABUL: The United Nations Security Council in its latest report on the situation in Afghanistan has said that the government of Afghanistan continued to face significant political, economic and security challenges.
The President Ashraf Ghani, and the Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, continued to engage in bilateral discussion to improve their working relationship, and the report also added that several key government position remain vacant. “The newly formed electoral management bodies took initial step towards implementing electoral reforms and preparing for future election, the government also continued to advance its anti-corruption agenda,” the report added.
The report furthered, “in parallel, the implementation of the peace agreement with Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar advanced, including the lifting of sanctions against Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, but there was no discernible progress on peace talks between the government and the Taliban.”
Regarding security situation, the UN said, “The security situation continued to worsen, with armed clashes between security forces and the Taliban reaching a record high in 2016 and continuing at that pace in 2017.” The reported added, high levels of violence against civilians continued to be recorded as a result, with a significant increase in casualties among children and in internal displacements. Service delivery remained challenging given the difficult security situation.
“The economic situation remained fragile, with persistently low rates of economic growth and low investment rates.”
It added that the United Nations recorded 23,712 security incidents, an almost 5 percent increase compared with 2015 and the highest number in a single year ever recovered by UNAMA.
Moreover, UN said that during the reporting period there was a marked increase in bilateral diplomatic outreach between Afghanistan and its neighbors. “Bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan continued to be strained, however. In the wake of the suicide attack perpetrated in Kandahar City on 10 January, Afghan officials, including National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and Chief of Police of Kandahar Province Abdul Razziq, publicly blamed the attack on foreign actors.
The UN observation shows that Afghanistan continues to face a range of complex challenges. Worsening conflict has resulted in record levels of civilian casualties and internally displaced person.
“The rising numbers of returning refugees and undocumented Afghans has put further strain on social and economic conditions. The Government also continues to face both internal and external political challenges,” The UN observed.
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