Afghan Conflict Displaces More Than 350,000 People Since January –UN

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The continuous conflict in Afghanistan has displaced more than 350,000 people throughout the country since Jan. 1, according to data by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Overall, 354,664 people have been displaced, OCHA reported in its displacement statistics. The displacements were in 31 of the total of 34 provinces. Around 310,000 people were displaced in the same period in 2018.

Most displacements took place in the north-east region with more than 160,000 people displaced, followed by the east with 68,000, the north with 60,000 and the west with 29,900.

The displacements take place as Afghan forces continue to fight Taliban militants and Islamic State terrorists.

The fighting had surged this year during ongoing talks between the U.S. and the Taliban about a political solution of the conflict.  According to analysts, both sides had tried to gain leverage at the negotiation desk through military gains.

The talks were called off by U.S. President Donald Trump in early September.  However there are signs that the talks might be resumed.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, arrived in the Afghan capital on Saturday.  Khalilzad met Afghan officials including President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. The visit was Khalilzad’s first to Afghanistan since the talks with the Taliban were cancelled.


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