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UN Urges Afghan Candidates To 'Control Supporters' On Social Media

UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Jan Kubis (file photo)
UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Jan Kubis (file photo)
The United Nations is calling on Afghanistan’s presidential candidates to "take all steps necessary to control their supporters" so they refrain from using social media to issue "inflammatory statements and hate speech" over allegations of electoral fraud.

Jan Kubis, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said in a statement on June 22 that there has been a "disturbing tone in some social media platforms" that "promote[s] divisive ethnic mobilization," including "rhetoric that brings back memories of tragic, fratricidal, factional conflicts in the 1990s that costs the lives of tens of thousands of civilians."

Supporters of candidate Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister from an ethnic-Tajik faction that opposed the Taliban regime, have held street protests since he accused electoral officials and others of trying to rig the result of the June 14 runoff vote.

Abdullah is contesting Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister who is a Pashtun.