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     UNIS/SG/2333
    12 August 1999
    Secretary-General's Statement on Occasion of First Anniversary of Murder
     Of Iranian Diplomats in Mazar-e-Sharif

     

     NEW YORK, 10 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

     On the occasion of the first anniversary of the murder of eight Iranian diplomats and a journalist in the Iranian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif, the Secretary-General received a letter from Dr. Kamal Kharrazi, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying that the Taliban Movement had yet to make substantial progress in the investigation which they have initiated to identify and punish the perpetrators of these outrageous killings.

     The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA) have repeatedly, during the past 12 months, on behalf of the Secretary-General, reminded the Taliban of the resolutions and declarations adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council and the "6+2" informal group which, inter alia, call on the Taliban to carry out a serious and speedy investigation into that very grave incident.  The issue was again raised by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General when he visited Kabul last month.

     It should be recalled that during the same period thousands of Afghans, most of them civilians, were killed in Northern Afghanistan, including thousands of Taliban fighters in Mazar-e-Sharif in May 1997.  The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has commissioned an independent investigation of these mass killings of 1997 and 1998.  The independent investigator is expected to submit his report to the High Commissioner in the near future.
     

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