Afghanistan can "ill afford" a post-election slide to violence

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Ján Kubis. UNAMA@PHOTO

Afghanistan can ill-afford the "unpredictable impacts on security, stability, its economy and the wider region" if violence erupts over the current political stalemate.

That's what Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ján Kubis told the Security Council on Wednesday.

In the run-off elections held on 14 June, Afghan voters had a choice between two candidates to replace the President Hamid Karzai.

Mr Kubis warned of the risk of a confrontation between the two presidential candidates and their supporters which might lead to "a protracted confrontation with a danger of a slide to violence".

"In such a times of tensions missteps, miscommunications, misunderstandings, the actions of a radical few can have broader consequences. I appeal for calm amongst both candidate supporters amidst sharpening hateful rhetoric of an increasingly inflammatory tone, risking ethnic division. Most disturbingly this includes rhetoric, evoking memories of the fratricidal factional conflicts in the 90s. All necessary steps need to be taken by the two leaders to avoid any slippery slope to civil disorder and instability."

The "utmost maturity and statesmanship is required by the two presidential candidates to avoid conflict stemming from the poll-related dispute, Mr Kubis said.

However, he conceded that the UN's role in addressing the current political impasse in Afghanistan was limited.

He said the organization could only "assist" the country's institutions and stakeholders but not replace them.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’50″

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