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In 2nd relocation this week, UN moves 120 people from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan

“As the Secretary-General told the Security Council on August 16th, the United Nations presence in Afghanistan will adapt to the security situation,” the spokesperson to Mr. Guterres said.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The United Nations in Afghanistan flew 120 people from Kabul to Kazakhstan’s Almaty in view of the “security and other constraints,” the second such flight in the past week, the spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General, said in a note to correspondents on Sunday that the 120 persons included UN personnel and members of several non-governmental organisations that serve as implementing partners of the UN in Afghanistan.

The UN in Afghanistan flew the people from Kabul to Almaty on August 22, just days after the UN moved about 100 of its personnel from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan in view of the “security and other constraints” in Kabul, he said.

“Part of the UN personnel who left Kabul today will continue to work out of Almaty,” Mr. Dujarric said.

The world organisation said the UN in Afghanistan is “currently focused on the safety of the thousands of its personnel and partners who remain on the ground, as well as the delivery of critical humanitarian and other assistance to millions of Afghans in need.

“The UN family in Afghanistan is acutely aware of the great concerns of some personnel, particularly national colleagues. We are doing our utmost to support them and their safety,” he said.

Last week, Mr. Dujarric told reporters that a group of about 100 UN personnel from across the UN system traveled from Kabul to Almaty, where they will continue their work remotely.

“As the Secretary-General told the Security Council on August 16th, the United Nations presence in Afghanistan will adapt to the security situation. In light of the security and other constraints in Kabul and other parts of the country at the moment, it was decided to move a part of the UN staff out of the country.

“Personnel will return to Afghanistan as conditions permit,” Mr. Dujarric said.

Mr. Dujarric added that the UN is committed to staying and delivering in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need.

The majority of humanitarian personnel remain in Afghanistan, providing vital assistance to millions in need, he said.

He said the remote presence will provide a close support to the UN family’s continuing work on the ground in Afghanistan.

“This is a temporary measure intended to enable the UN to keep delivering assistance to the people of Afghanistan with the minimum of disruption while, at the same time, reducing risk to UN personnel,” he added.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war.

The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away.

Thousands of Afghan nationals and foreigners are fleeing the country to escape the new Taliban regime and to seek asylum in different nations, including the US and many European nations, resulting in total chaos at Kabul airport and deaths.


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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 1:43:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/in-2nd-relocation-this-week-un-moves-120-people-from-afghanistan-to-kazakhstan/article36054744.ece

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