Statement Attributable to the Spokesman of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan on the Killings in Nuristan

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan is saddened and shocked to learn today of the killing of two international staff and their Afghan interpreter who were on a mission in the province of Nuristan to support voter registration.

They worked for the Global Risk Strategies, whose services have been contracted to provide logistic and security assessments to the electoral process in Afghanistan.

The victims were traveling in the district of Nuristan, where they were evaluating the feasibility of establishing voter registration sites. The precise circumstances of the attack are not yet known. The United Nations is reassured that the authorities have undertaken to conduct a thorough investigation in order to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Afghans are enthusiastically supporting the electoral process. Since last December, they have registered in large numbers wherever registration sites were available and have urged the electoral authorities to expand voter registration far and wide. Coincidentally, a delegation of influential Nuristan is visited Kabul recently to impress upon the electoral authorities their wish to begin registration there as soon as possible.

The Special Representative condemns in the strongest terms the killings. They are also a reminder of how important security is and will continue to be if the aspiration of the Afghans to participate in the electoral process is to materialize.

The United Nations reaffirms its own commitment to assist the Joint Electoral Management Body and its Electoral Secretariat in making this participation possible.

The Special Representative extends his sympathy to the families and colleagues of the three victims.