On 02 November 2020, three gunmen stormed the campus of Kabul University, Afghanistan, killing 32 people and wounding 50 others. The attack began when government officials were expected to arrive at the campus for the opening of an Iranian book fair. The three terrorists were later killed during a fight with security forces.
The attack came after months of increased tensions between the Afghan government, the Taliban, and ISIL-affiliated fighters.
EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security, Ms Nabila Massrali, in an official EU statement said “today’s attack against Kabul University is a despicable act of terrorism” and “the European Union condemns it in strongest possible terms”.
Ms Massrali further declared that “this terrorist attack marks the second assault on an educational institution in Kabul in fewer than ten days, following the attack in Dasht-e-Barchi on 24 October” and “such acts not only deliberately target innocent civilians, mostly young people, but constitute attacks against Afghanistan’s future”, added that “the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow.
The EU Spokesperson stated that “targeting innocent civilians is a breach of International Humanitarian Law and the perpetrators must be held to account” and “we call for all attacks to cease immediately”.
In closing, Spokesperson Massrali stated that “the European Union fully supports a brighter, more prosperous and safe future for Afghanistan, in which the young people of today will play a vital role”.
Violence has plagued Afghanistan while government and Taliban negotiators have been meeting in Qatar to try to broker a peace deal that would allow the United States to withdraw its troops and end its longest war.
On 13 October 2020, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Clare Daly posed a parliamentary question to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy regarding the Commission’s foreign policy asking if it had achieved the goals “of a humanitarian, multilateral and programme-level approach to reconstruction and democratisation in Afghanistan to reinforce the Afghanistan Peace Support Mechanism?”
MEP Daly also requested clarification on the Commission’s justification of “the annual budget of around EUR 200 million in development aid for Afghanistan when 66 % of the country is in the Taliban’s hands?”
The security situation in Afghanistan is grave: the Global Peace Index has ranked it the least peaceful country in the world. Afghanistan faces persistent insecurity, increasing Taliban influence and targeted killings, and has a large number of internally displaced people.
Photo Credit : https://thekashmirpress.com/kabul-university/