Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 11, 2007

U.N. envoy condemns assassination attempt on Afghan President

As President Hamid Karzai faced yet another assassination attempt Sunday, the United Nations special envoy in Afghanistan called for an end to attempts at increasing instability in the nation, UN News Service reported today.

“Those who are responsible clearly do not respect the views of the millions of Afghans who elected President Karzai and who work patiently day-by-day for the rebuilding of this country and its values – values of honour, peace, and mutual respect,” Tom Koenigs, head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today.

Since taking office, Karzai has survived two previous assassination attempts. The most recent incident comes on the heels of the murders of two female Afghan journalists. The head of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) condemned the killings as undermining not only “the basic human right of freedom of expression, but also the right of women to exercise a profession that is vital for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.”

Koenigs also addressed rumors regarding the murder of an Afghan Ministry of Health employee. “Deliberately harming civilians, including Government employees, NGO workers, and UN contractors or staff, is a clear violation of international humanitarian law, as well as a crime under national laws. Those who engage in such acts will be held to account,” he said.

Rising civilian death tolls, as a result of both Taliban and U.S.-led operations, have increased tensions in this already unstable country.

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