The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Afghanistan on Monday morning (10 a.m. EDT / 2 p.m. GMT) at the request of Estonia and Norway.
Council diplomats said Sunday that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will brief council members on the latest situation following the Taliban takeover of the capital, Kabul.
The U.N. chief on Friday had urged the Taliban to immediately halt their offensive in Afghanistan and negotiate “in good faith” to avert a prolonged civil war. He also said he is “deeply disturbed" by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists.
The U.N. on Sunday called on the Taliban and other parties in Afghanistan to protect civilians and U.N. humanitarian workers.
In a statement, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said the U.N. continues to closely monitor and assess the situation. "This is all I have for now," he added.
Laerke did not provide information on the evacuation of the U.N. staff working across the country.
In a statement, however, the Taliban said they do not intend to enter Kabul "by force or war, but to negotiate with the other side to enter peacefully."
Halting the fighters outside the city, the Taliban said that until the completion of a transitional process, the security of Kabul would belong to the Afghan government.
It added that no retaliation would be sought against civilians or members of the military who served the Kabul administration.
While the U.S. troops began evacuating the country's embassy in Kabul, NATO said its officials had been moved to "safe places" inside the capital.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also urged Turkish nationals who want to leave Afghanistan to immediately inform the Turkish Embassy in Kabul.
The United Nations refugee agency says more than 550,000 people in Afghanistan have fled their homes due to the conflict since the start of this year.
A situational update published Sunday by Geneva-based United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows about 126,000 people were displaced in the previous month to Aug. 9, the most recent date for which figures are available.
A spokesperson for UNHCR said that while the situation inside Afghanistan is fluid, “for now the displacement is largely internal.”
“There is a need to support the humanitarian response in the country,” Shabia Mantoo told The Associated Press (AP). “If we do see cross border movement then additional support outside the country will be necessary, too.”
The agency continues to have international and Afghan staff on the ground, she said.
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