An Afghan woman arrives for an appointment with a doctor at a youth healthcare centre in Kabul. File photo/AFP
Taliban militants have forced a Swedish charity to close dozens of health centres in a central Afghan province, accusing it of failing to provide safety to civilians, the organisation said on Wednesday.
Four people were killed at a Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) centre in Wardak province, west of Kabul, during a night raid by Afghan forces last week, SCA and Afghan government officials said.
The attack was condemned by the SCA, but the Taliban accused it failing to provide adequate security.
“We expect the SCA to shut down their services in Wardak province as they are unable to guarantee the safety of their Afghan employees,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said.
The SCA confirmed that the Taliban had forced it to close 42 of 77 health centres in Wardak. More than 5,700 patients were affected, it said.
The SCA has more than 6,000 Afghan employees operating in 14 Afghan provinces. It was founded in 1980 in response to the Soviet invasion, with the Swedish agency for development cooperation its largest international donor.
“Forcing SCA to close health facilities, hence denying people to receive medical treatment and health services, is an obvious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law,” said Sonny Mansson, SCA country director.
Earlier this year, the Taliban ordered the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organisation to stop operating in areas under their control, citing unspecified “suspicious” actions during vaccination campaigns.
Afghanistan has been bleeding for years and the situation has to change. An entire generation of children has witnessed nothing but bloody violence. At a time when they should be studying in schools and playing in the gardens,
With the US and other countries taking so much of interests in resolving complex issues surrounding Afghanistan, the world must see a fruitful end to the decades-old conflict that has killed thousands of people and devastated the whole country. As far as ordinary citizens, especially where the youth are concerned,
Stakes are high for the talks which follow a week of US-Taliban negotiations with both sides eyeing a resolution to the bloody 18-year conflict.
The National Election Committee, NEC, announced on Sunday that nine candidate registration centres across the UAE are now accepting applications for Federal National Council, FNC, membership and will continue to do so until Aug.22.
A two-month exhibition titled ‘Silk Road Books’ opened at the Maraya Art Centre at Al Qasba in Sharjah, on Sunday. Organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), the exhibition showcases Chinese literature and culture through the works of many Chinese and international authors and artists.
The Sharjah Police Commander-in-Chief, Maj. Gen. Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, has honoured Alsayed Ramadan Alsayed, a photographer from Al Khaleej newspaper, in recognition of the great effort made by him in cooperation with the Sharjah Police.