UN Mission condemns attack on headquarters of Afghan electoral commission

KABUL: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned yesterday’s attack on the Kabul headquarters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the second attack on an Afghan election facility in the past four days, with presidential and provincial council polls just a week away.

“The Mission denounces this latest violent attack on a civilian location. It reiterates that electoral institutions and their staff should not be the targets of deliberate attacks,” UNAMA said in a statement, which confirmed that while its own neighbouring base in Kabul was hit by small arms fire during the attack, all UN staff members are accounted for and reported safe.

According to media reports, suicide bombers were among those who attacked the IEC headquarters. Thus far, no injuries have been reported from in the initial stage of the attack.

“Resorting to violence to intimidate citizens from exercising their democratic rights is an admission that you have lost the ability to win over people through political persuasion,” said the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom.

“The UN remains undeterred in carrying out its work and I am confident that the IEC is as equally determined,” Mr. Haysom added. “More importantly, I am sure that ordinary Afghans remain undeterred in their desire to have their say on the future direction of their country.”