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                                            10 August 1999
    Secretary-General, Seriously Concerned at Continued Fighting
    In Afghanistan, Urges End to 'Senseless Self-destruction
    Says Parties Cannot 'Cynically' Commit Criminal Acts,
    Then Expect Help from United Nations, International Community


    NEW YORK, 6 August 1999 (UN Headquarters) -- This  is  the   text  of   a  statement   today  by   the  Spokesman   for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The continued fighting in  Afghanistan is a source of very serious concern to  the Secretary-General. Yesterday the  Security Council  was briefed on latest developments  in Afghanistan.  After  the meeting,  the President, on behalf of the Council,  once again called upon the warring factions to  stop their  senseless  self-destruction  and  resume serious  negotiations  under United Nations auspices.

    The  changing  fortunes  of  the   parties  on  the   battlefield  vividly illustrate that the Afghan conflict can never be resolved  through force and that the gain or loss  of territory will  not bring peace.  It  demonstrates
    anew that  the conflict  will end  only through a  peaceful dialogue,  which would  lead to  national reconciliation  and  the  formation of  a genuinely representative  government acceptable  to  all Afghans. 
    This  fundamental truth has been  reaffirmed one more time at  the recent meeting of the  "Six plus Two" group in Tashkent.

    Reports of massive forced displacements of  civilians from the areas where fighting  has  been raging  are  alarming.    United  Nations personnel,  in cooperation  with others, are  doing their best  to ascertain  the facts and identify those who  may have been  responsible for these  and other  massive violations of human rights.   The United Nations personnel are also -- again with others -- assessing the needs of the affected populations and shall provide what help may  be available.   But the parties responsible for  such disasters  cannot, cynically, commit  such criminal  acts, then  turn to the United  Nations  and the  international community  as a  whole to  help save their own  people from  disasters provoked  by those  who claim to  be their country's leaders.

    Equally disturbing are the reports that,  in addition to arms,  ammunition and  other war-making  materials  being liberally  delivered to  the warring factions by their respective foreign supporters,  there are now thousands of non-Afghan nationals taking part  in the fighting.   It is worth  recalling, in this  context, the  following operative  paragraph 3  in the  declaration recently adopted by the "Six plus Two" in Tashkent:

    "In order to help bring about a cessation of hostilities, which we  consider essential, we have  further agreed  not to provide  military support to  any Afghan party and to  prevent the use  of our territories for such  purposes. We  call upon  the international  community  to  take identical  measures to prevent delivery of weapons to Afghanistan." 

    Surely  the countries  which signed  this  declared  shall wish  to honour their  signatures and will  want to  seriously work together  to prevent the conflict in Afghanistan from becoming what  some experts are already terming "a transnational conflict".  Even as a purely  internal conflict, the Afghan crisis  is a  clear menace  to regional  peace  and  stability.   Should the transnational  aspect be  allowed to take  root, as it  clearly threatens to do, the  potential dangers will increase  greatly and it  will be much  more difficult to prevent the conflict from spreading beyond Afghan borders. 

    The Secretary-General urges  all Afghan parties, including neutral  groups and individuals, as  well as countries with  influence to work together  and with the United Nations to put an end to the  present fighting and to resume serious negotiations to establish peace in  Afghanistan and security for the region.
    * Reissued for technical reasons.

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