UNITED NATIONS: Despite the fact that US and NATO troops will leave Afghanistan this year, the UN has stated that it will continue to carry out its political and humanitarian mission in the region.
In response to questions about the mission’s future, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said it was “plain and obvious” that the troops’ withdrawal “would have an effect on the country as a whole.”
“We’ll keep studying the situation,” he said, “but our work in Afghanistan will continue.”
“The UN has long been present in Afghanistan on the humanitarian development end, and we will continue to be there to support the Afghan people,” he said, adding that the organisation will “adapt to the situation on the ground.”
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a small political operation with around 1,200 staff, the vast majority of whom are Afghan citizens, but no peacekeepers.
All UN organisations are counted, the organization’s overall presence in Afghanistan is about 4,000 people, with approximately 75% of them being Afghan.
Deborah Lyons, the head of UNAMA, and veteran French diplomat Jean Arnault, who was named in March to “assist in the achievement of a diplomatic solution to the conflict,” are the two UN envoys in Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden declared the unconditional withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday, setting September 11 as the deadline for the last troops to leave. The withdrawal will begin on May 1st.
The Pentagon now has about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, down from over 100,000 in the past. Thousands more are part of a NATO force of 9,600 troops, which will be withdrawn at the same time.
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