Press Conference: IOM 29 January 2017

Press Briefing by Filippo Grandi
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan
on the Situation in Herat


13 September 2017


Good evening. I have just returned from leading a United Nations ‘mission to Herat to review the situation after the attacks which affected premises and staff of the United Nations and other agencies yesterday.

During the visit today, we also had the opportunity to meet the new Governor, Mohammad Khairkhwa, and have an extensive discussion with him, who was in his second day in office in Herat, and whose appointment the SRSG has warmly welcomed.

I was greatly encouraged by his ideas and his preliminary plans income key areas. I was particularly encouraged to hear his views on a new course in Herat with respect to some key issues such as security, human rights, and in particular women’s rights. As an example, we were very encouraged by the fact that he told us that he had made a new and key appointment for the head of Media and Communication Department in Herat Province. We thought that was a concrete sign of change.

Together with the Governor, his collaborators and the Coalition Forces, we also reviewed the situation in the city after the attacks on Unhand other premises, which included a fair amount of looting and burning.

I could only visit personally the two offices of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). I have to add that other agencies suffered attacks either on their offices or their accommodations or both. I do not have the complete picture – we did not have time to visit the entire city- but these other agencies are the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the Danish Aid Committee (DAC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – these were reported to me but there may be others. In the case of UNAMA and UNHCR office premises, the results of the attacks were quite shocking.