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UN envoy for Afghanistan urges forming nat'l unity gov't

NEW YORK, Sept 18 (KUNA) -- The audit results of Afghanistan's presidential elections are to be announced within days but no political agreements on a government of national unity yet in place, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Jan Kubis regretted on Thursday.
Agreements between both presidential candidates should be achieved by the time of the certification of the results, or the country will face further uncertainty, even the risk of conflict, he warned in a briefing to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the country.
"The time remaining is short, and by this i mean one or two days," said Kubis, also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
"A legitimate, broadly accepted political transition is necessary in providing a robust mandate on tackling the country's many challenges including burgeoning insurgency, a looming cash crunch and an expanding illicit narcotics economy," he said.
At the request of both candidates - Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani - and the Afghan authorities, the UN intervened and investigated the elections' outcomes, which Kubis said included "significant levels of fraud." With the serious and growing challenges facing Afghanistan, swift agreement and the establishment of a national unity government is necessary, he stressed.
A tactical shift in the insurgency has seen attempts to not only disrupt but to exert control over territory across the country, he added.
In the first eight months of this year, civilian casualties rose by 15 percent compared with the same period in 2013 - with 2,312 people killed and 4,533 others injured, he pointed out.
Overall 16 percent more women and 24 percent more children were killed or injured due to armed conflict than the same period in 2013.
The European Union representative Thomas Mayr-Harting called on the new government to be unified and robust in tackling security, economic and human development, and the rule of law and human rights.
Afghanistan representative to the UN Zahir Tanin said his country and its international partners should join hands to address the country's dire economic situation, worsening security situation resulted from the fact that Taliban and other terrorist groups took advantage of the electoral impasse to destabilize the country.
To ensure future stability, the country should avoid dangerous atmosphere of political division and fragmentation, Tanin added. (end) mao.gb