UN Slams 'horrendous Attack' On Demining Partner HALO Trust
UNITED NATIONS, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Jun, 2021 ) :The United Nations Wednesday called for an investigation into the deadly attack in northern Afghanistan against the HALO Trust, a humanitarian group working to rid the country of landmines.
In strongly condemning the attack, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the HALO Trust is a global partner in operations to clear landmines, and other explosive devices, and to better the lives of vulnerable people.
"We further call for a full investigation to ensure that those responsible for this horrendous attack are held accountable and brought to justice. The United Nations is committed to staying and delivering in Afghanistan." Dr Ramiz Alakbarov, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, echoed the call for an investigation.
"It is repugnant that an organization that works to clear landmines and other explosives and better the lives of vulnerable people could be targeted", he said in a statement.
Last year it helped the country to clear some 14 square kilometres of land.
"We are dismayed and saddened for the victims, their families, and the terror inflicted on the survivors." The UN mission in the country, UNAMA, also took to Twitter to condemn the attack, describing it as "deeply shocking".
UNAMA stated that warring parties "have a fundamental responsibility to safeguard humanitarians in the areas they control. Yet it is clear that certain parties and people within their ranks are deliberately targeting them." The mission added that "all those parties claiming to desire peace for the Afghan people need to demonstrate concrete action to support their claims and put an end to the terrible crimes such as witnessed in Baghlan".
"Our humanitarian colleagues warn that interference with humanitarian activities escalated in 2020, with a 140 per cent increase in incidents compared to 2019. This escalating trend continues in 2021", he said.
He urged parties to the conflict to protect civilians, aid workers and civilian structures such as schools and hospitals, in line with international humanitarian law.