The European Union condemns the significant escalation of violence across Afghanistan caused by the intensified attacks of the Taliban, in particular the armed attack on the UNAMA office in Herat province, the attack and subsequent fighting in Lashkar Gah having caused at least 40 civilian casualties, and the most recent attack targeting the Kabul residence of Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi which killed eight and wounded at least 20 people. The EU calls for an urgent, comprehensive and permanent ceasefire to give peace a chance.
This senseless violence is inflicting immense suffering upon Afghan citizens and is increasing the number of internally displaced persons in search of safety and shelter. The Taliban’s military offensive is in direct contradiction to their stated commitment to a negotiated settlement of the conflict and the Doha peace process.
Violations of principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights continue to rock the country, in particular in Taliban-controlled areas, such as arbitrary and extrajudicial killings of civilians, public lashing of women and the destruction of infrastructure. Some of these acts could amount to war crimes and will have to be investigated. Those Taliban fighters or commanders responsible must be held accountable.