Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday promised to introduce measures to prevent civilian casualties in the ongoing war against militants, a day after at least 30 civilians were killed in a U.S. drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province.
Ghani said new steps to protect civilians were being implemented and he has introduced several “checks and balances” to stop night raids and attacks leading to loss of innocent lives.
He made these assurances while addressing an election rally in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.
Presidential polls are scheduled for Sept.28 across Afghanistan.
This comes as at least 30 people were killed and more than 40 others injured in an American drone strike accidentally struck a group of farmers on late Wednesday night in Nangarhar province.
A US drone aircraft which had been targeting an ISIS position in theNangarhar province inadvertently struck a group of farm workers collecting pine nuts in Wazir Tangi.
More than 29 million babies were born last year into conflict-affected areas, including Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
A report published on September 20 said the statistics meant that more than one in five babies born last year spent their earliest moments in communities affected by “the chaos of conflict, often in deeply unsafe, and highly stressful environments.”
“Every parent should be able to cherish their baby’s first moments, but for the millions of families living through conflict, the reality is far bleaker,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“In countries around the world, violent conflict has severely limited access to essential services for parents and their babies. Millions of families lack access to nutritious food, safe water, sanitation, or a secure and healthy environment to grow and bond. Along with the immediate, obvious dangers, the long-term impacts of such a start in life are potentially catastrophic.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child, in which, among other things, governments pledged to protect and care for children affected by conflict.
Yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades, threatening the safety and wellbeing of millions of children.
Hospitals, health centres and child-friendly spaces – all of which provide critical services to parents and babies – have come under attack in conflicts around the world in recent years.
The Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov has received in Ashgabat Ambassador of Afghanistan Mirwais Nab, who is completing his diplomatic mission in the country.
The parties noted the consistent strengthening of Turkmen-Afghan relations, based on the principles of good neighborliness and mutual respect, the report said.
At the meeting, the sides also exchanged views on pressing issues of cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields.
The ambassador emphasized the significant contribution of Turkmenistan to the process of peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and its socio-economic development, the report said.
Kabul is convinced that the commissioning of the said regional infrastructure projects will turn Afghanistan into a hub of trade and transit between Central Asia and South Asia, the report said.
The United Nations Security Council has passed through a resolution to extend its mission in Afghanistan, which was drafted by Indonesia, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) was established in March 2002 to support the people and government of Afghanistan in achieving peace and stability.
“This resolution is powered by Indonesia in cooperation with Germany and mandates various UN supports for the government and the people of Afghanistan to create peace and improve development,” Dian Triansyah Djani, Indonesian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Tuesday.
As per Jakarta Globe report, the ambassador said the resolution was not easy to get through, but Indonesia’s diplomacy managed to bridge differences in the Security Council and prevented any veto from the permanent members of the council.
The Unama extension resolution is Indonesia’s first-ever resolution draft.
The resolution extends the mission’s mandate until Sept. 17 next year. It also gives a new mandate for the mission to support the Afghanistan government in human rights, gender equality, women empowerment and child protection.
Unama also mandates support for Afghanistan’s presidential election on Sept. 28, marking the foundation of democracy in the country.
Indonesia has been active in peacebuilding in Afghanistan. In May last year, the largest Muslim-majority country in the world held the Trilateral Ulema Conference in Bogor which also involved Muslim leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan.