UN chief urges Taliban, others to ‘exercise utmost restraint’

Antonio Guterres says ‘all abuses must stop,’ emphasizing importance of ‘hard-won rights’ for women and girls

WASHINGTON (AA) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Taliban and other parties in Afghanistan to exercise the “utmost restraint” after the group laid claim to the presidential palace.

Guterres “is following with deep concern the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan” with hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes, his office said in a statement.

“He urges the Taliban and all other parties to exercise utmost restraint in order to protect lives and ensure that humanitarian needs can be addressed,” it said.

“The Secretary-General is particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected. All abuses must stop. He calls on the Taliban and all other parties to ensure that international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all people are respected and protected,” it added.

Guterres will address the Security Council on Monday when it holds an emergency session on the situation in Afghanistan.

On Friday, as it became increasingly clear that the Afghan government was collapsing amid the Taliban’s sprawling offensive, Guterres warned that the country was “spinning out of control,” and called on the Taliban and Afghan parties to forge a negotiated settlement.​​​​​​​


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