The Taliban has called on Russia and Ukraine to ‘resolve the crisis through peaceful means’ months after massacring innocent people as they took over Afghanistan.
In a statement posted to the Taliban’s official Twitter account, which now goes by the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the militant group said it was concerned ‘about real possibility of civilian casualties.’
Under the seal of the Emirate’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – that closely resembles the seals used by US government departments – the Taliban called for dialogue to be held between Russia and Ukraine and to safeguard Afghans in Ukraine.
In a statement (pictured) posted to the Taliban’s official Twitter account, the militant group said it was concerned ‘about real possibility of civilian casualties’ in Ukraine
The Taliban, as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, has yet to be recognised by any country as Afghanistan’s new government since its brutal takeover in August.
Its foreign ministry posted its ‘Statement concerning crisis in Ukraine’ on Friday morning, and was shared on Twitter by key Taliban figures.
‘The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and expresses concern about real possibility of civilian casualties,’ the statement said.
‘The Islamic Emirate calls for restraint by both parties. All sides need to desist from taking positions that could intensify violence.’
According to estimates, over 1,000 civilians were killed and over 2,000 injured when the Taliban launched their offensive to capture Afghanistan last year.
A further 1,500 Afghanistan forces were killed, while the now-defunct Afghan government claimed to have killed almost 10,000 Taliban militants.
UN figures also suggest as many as 244,000 civilians were displaced.
The statement continued: ‘The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in line with its foreign policy of neutrality, calls on both sides of the conflict to resolve the crisis through dialogue and peaceful means.
‘The Islamic Emirate also calls on parties to the conflict to pay attention to safeguarding the lives of Afghan students and migrants in Ukraine.’
According to CNN, 370 Afghans fled their home country last year to Ukraine.
According to estimates, over 1,000 civilians were killed and over 2,000 injured when the Taliban launched their offensive to capture Afghanistan last year. Pictured: People struggle to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the country after rumors that foreign countries are evacuating people even without visas, after the Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan, 16 August 2021
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint on a street in Kabul on December 17, 2021
They now find themselves at risk of being caught up in yet another conflict, just months after escaping the deadly advance of the Taliban.
Since the Taliban’s takeover, there have also been reports of a militant-led crackdown on civilians who worked with the western-back Afghanistan government, as well as on human rights – and particularly on women’s rights.
As the Taliban released the statement on Friday, the United Nations condemned the killing of eight polio workers by unknown gunmen in Afghanistan, which it said had set back the campaign to eradicate the disease in the country.
The Taliban, who took control of the country in August, said there were separate attacks on Thursday in northeastern Kunduz and Takhar provinces.
The killings were the first since UNICEF and the World Health Organisation launched a nationwide polio vaccine campaign in November aimed at reaching over 3 million children, with the backing of the Taliban.
The Ministry of Public Health said the victims included four women.
A man sits outside his destroyed building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022, as Russian armed forces attacked Ukraine
Belarusian-Ukrainian checkpoint ‘Senkovka-Veselovka’. These are: the TOS-1A ‘Solntsepyok’, at least 4 T-72B tanks, at least 8 MT-LB tractors, and Ural truckAll the equipment is marked with ‘O’.Tanks heading to Kiev
The United Nations said the killings had led to the suspension of the vaccination campaign in the two provinces.
‘We are appalled by the brutality of these killings, across four separate locations,’ the U.N. said in a statement. ‘This senseless violence must stop immediately, and those responsible must be investigated and brought to justice.’
The public health ministry statement said authorities were investigating.
Polio has been virtually eliminated globally through a decades-long inoculation drive. But insecurity, inaccessible terrain, mass displacement and suspicion of outside interference have hampered mass vaccination in Afghanistan and some areas of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases.
Troops and tanks are moving in from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.
Explosions sounded before dawn in Kyiv and gunfire was later heard near the government quarter as Western leaders scheduled an emergency meeting.
Ukraine’s president pleaded for international help to fend off an attack that could topple his democratically elected government, cause massive casualties and ripple out damage to the global economy.
Among the signs that the Ukrainian capital was increasingly threatened, the military said Friday that a group of Russian spies and saboteurs was seen in a district of Kyiv about 3 miles north of the city centre.
Earlier, the military said that Russian forces had seized two Ukrainian military vehicles and some uniforms and were heading toward the city to try to infiltrate under the guise of being locals.