By Agence France-Presse
The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously condemned the use of violence by the Taliban and the Islamic State group to disrupt Afghanistan’s electoral process, a day after 23 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul.
The council “condemns in the strongest terms those who resort to violence to obstruct the electoral process, including the Taliban and ISlL (Da’esh) affiliates,” it said, referring to the Islamic State group by its alternate and Arabic acronyms.
It hailed the “exceptional courage displayed by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in their leading role in securing their country.”
Sunday’s bombing near the Kabul International Airport was claimed by the IS group. It followed the return from exile of Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum.
An AFP driver, Mohammad Akhtar, was among the victims.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, which has tracked civilian casualties in the country over the past 10 years, the first half of 2018 was the deadliest yet with 1,700 civilians killed.
More than half of those victims were killed in attacks attributed to Islamic State.
Some 8.9 million Afghans, including more than three million women, are registered to vote in parliamentary and local elections on October 20 and presidential elections in 2019.
The Security Council statement “underscores the importance of developing sustainable democratic institutions in Afghanistan based on inclusive, transparent and credible elections.”
It also stressed “the need to promote the full and safe participation of women as well as members of minority groups, including ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, both as voters and candidates.”