LOCAL UN STAFF STILL STUCK IN AFGHANISTAN
Un Peacekeeping Operation Is The Need Of The Hour In Afghanistan – Suggests Former Un Sg Candidate -Arora Akanksha
New Delhi / New York,
In the deteriorating security situation unfolding over the last week, where Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan, the former UN Secretary-General Candidate, Arora Akanksha says, “a UN peacekeeping operation is the need of the hour”. Further, Akanksha says “the UN Security Council must respond boldly and swiftly now before it’s too late. There will never be a perfect time to initiate a peacekeeping mission. We know from experience the Taliban will not protect women’s and girls rights, therefore a peacekeeping operation is must to ensure their safety and freedoms are protected.”
Akanksha breaks down the Afghanistan crisis in the following ways, “the most immediate crisis is the airlift crisis, whereby countries are desperately trying to get their citizens and allies out of afghanistan. In this effort, the Taliban are not allowing people to leave their houses safely for the airport and if they make it to the airport, they are not allowed to get through. This clearly calls for a peacekeeping operation to allow people to safely and freely leave the country. The other crises that need to be addressed are (a) political – who is in-charge? Taliban or the previous government; (b) human rights – what will happen to women and girls under the taliban?; and (c) humanitarian crisis – since there is no government, no structure, there is no way and means for people to survive.”
Further, Akanksha says, “the western countries cannot and should not impose sanctions at this time. That will be akin to adding fuel to the fire and will only make things worse.” What’s needed is a strong UN leadership and presence in Afghanistan to protect people and ensure the gains made over the past 20 years are not lost in a week. Akanksha is one of the prominent voices in a widening chorus of calls to consider a more robust UN presence in Afghanistan in the wake of the US departure, as an alternative to allowing the country to spiral back into civil war. In a May 14 letter obtained by the Associated Press, 140 civil society and faith leaders from the US, Afghanistan and other countries asked US President Joe biden to call for a UN peacekeeping force “to ensure that the cost of the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan is not paid for in the lives of schoolgirls.”
Akanksha’s words echo those of prominent scholars as well. In June, political scientist and human security expert Professor Charli Carpenter of University of Massachusetts called for the US to take the lead on phasing in a Muslim-majority-country-staffed UN peacekeeping mission to avoid leaving a power vacuum in its wake. “Unlike U.S. nation-building or counterinsurgency efforts, U.N. peacekeeping missions work,”
Professor Carpenter wrote in an essay in World Politics Review, citing numerous studies. West Point’s Major Ryan C. Van Wie of the U.S. Army had also argued prior to the US withdrawal that a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan could assist in an inter-Afghan settlement, by providing the parties with a needed impartial intermediary to monitor compliance and de-escalate disputes, thereby helping to build trust.