UNSC hears fears of Afghanistan’s weapons falling into hands of terrorists ‘materializing’

File photo.

The United Nations Security Council was told Friday that fears of weapons and ammunition from Afghanistan falling into the hands of terrorists are now materializing.

Two senior UN counter-terrorism officials briefed the Security Council Friday on counter-terrorism efforts and said despite successful international counter-terrorism initiatives, Daesh and its affiliates continue to pose a serious threat in conflict zones and neighboring countries – including Afghanistan.

The officials stated the situation in Afghanistan is growing increasingly complex, and that “fears of weapons and ammunition falling in the hands of terrorists are now materializing.” 

Vladimir Voronkov, head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office (UNOCT) told the council that Daesh’s operational capabilities has increased and the group has become “more sophisticated in its attacks against the Taliban and international targets.

“Moreover, the presence and activity of some 20 different terrorist groups in the country, combined with the repressive measures put in place by the Taliban de facto authorities, the absence of sustainable development and a dire humanitarian situation, pose significant challenges for the region and beyond.”

Voronkov also said the continued expansion of Daesh and affiliates in parts of Africa, as well as the increasing level of violence and threat, “remain deeply concerning”.

He also stated that as a result of counter-terrorism efforts, Daesh worldwide has moved to adopt less hierarchical and more networked, decentralized structures, following Al-Qaeda’s footsteps, with increased operational autonomy by its affiliated groups.

The Taliban in Afghanistan has however repeatedly stated that Daesh has been mostly eliminated from the country. However reports continue to emerge of weapons that initially belonged to US troops in Afghanistan and to former security forces, being linked to terror attacks in regional countries.