New York

21 March 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Afghanistan

The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the deadly attacks that have killed over 50 civilians in Afghanistan this week.

These include a suicide attack on a market in Faryab province, an attack on a police station in the eastern city of Jalalabad, and last night’s attack on a hotel in the capital Kabul.

These attacks took place as Afghans prepare to celebrate Nowruz, the start of the new year and a time when Afghans celebrate the values of peace and solidarity among communities. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a flagrant breach of these values as well as of international humanitarian law.

The Secretary-General sends his deepest condolences to the families and colleagues of those killed and his hopes for a swift recovery to those injured.

Afghans themselves demand an end to such violence. Today the Secretary-General received a message calling for peace and a ceasefire in Afghanistan, signed by nearly a quarter of a million women across the country.

The Secretary-General welcomes this peace campaign, which is in the spirit of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), and is another indication of the strong demands of the Afghan people for peace in their country.