20 September 2011 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have voiced shock and sadness after learning of the deaths earlier today of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former president who has been spearheading recent peace and reconciliation efforts within the country, and several colleagues in an apparent suicide attack.
Media reports indicate that Professor Rabbani – who was serving as Chairman of the High Peace Council in Afghanistan – was killed at his home in Kabul, the capital, as he was meeting with members of the Taliban in a bid to bring about a rapprochement.
A number of people were injured, including Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the joint secretariat of Afghanistan’s Peace and Reintegration Programme, according to a news release issued by UNAMA.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this attack on people who were working to bring peace in Afghanistan,” Mr. Ban said in a statement. He also reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting Afghanistan and its people in attaining peace and stability.
Both the Secretary-General and the mission extended their deepest condolences to the families of those affected.
Staffan de Mistura, the head of UNAMA and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, stressed that “the search for peace must continue,” adding that the mission will assist efforts to bring peace to the violence-wracked country.
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