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kabul
September 18, 2018
The Kabul Times

Continued civilian casualties concerning

Civilians bearing the brunt of war and the country observing highest record of civilian casualties without any creed and cast in almost forty years of war and violence. Conflicts in the country resulted into destroying human live as a result of direct consequences of violence, and the conflicts-induced breakdown of public health, security and infrastructures.

Civilians in Afghanistan are losing their precious lives and sustain injuries by crossfire, improvised explosive devices (IED), assassinations, bombing and forcefully usage of civilian’s homes as shelter by insurgents.

Even in the absence of direct fighting, unexploded ordnance from previous wars continue to kill our innocent civilians. During the Soviet-Afghan war, between millions of civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled their country as refugees. Unfortunately, the war was not ended after the withdrawal of the then Soviet Army.

Latest figures released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) here yesterday show continuing record high casualty rates being inflicted on the Afghan civilian population. Covering the period 1st January to 30 June 2018, findings include the killing of more civilians in the first six months of this year – 1,692 deaths – than at any comparable time over the last ten years since records have been kept.

UNAMA’s latest update documents 5,122 civilian casualties (1,692 deaths and 3,430 injured) – a three per cent overall decrease from last year – with civilian deaths up by one per cent, the most recorded in the same time period, since UNAMA began systematic documentation of civilian casualties in 2009.  The number of civilians injured decreased by five per cent.

As according to UNAMA, civilian casualty figures remain at record highs despite the unprecedented unilateral ceasefires by Government and Taliban that occurred over the three-day period 15-17 June 2018. Aside from casualties resulting from two Daesh/Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP)-claimed suicide attacks in Nangarhar during the ceasefires, UNAMA documented almost no other civilian casualties during the break in fighting.

UNAMA renews its call on parties to the conflict to increase efforts to protect the civilian population and encourages parties to work towards reaching a peaceful settlement. 

The mission is concerned by the emerging trend of targeting of education facilities by Anti-Government Elements as a reaction to operations by Pro-Government Forces. In Nangarhar province alone, through the month of June, the mission recorded 13 related incidents attributed to Daesh/ISKP.

Steps by the Government of Afghanistan to prevent civilian casualties continued, resulting in a reduction of civilian deaths and injuries from their operations, particularly from ground fighting, an area that UNAMA has consistently focused its advocacy with parties to the conflict in recent years.

The graph of human fatality is extremely high and civilians, mainly children, sustain the bulk of casualties as a result of regional conflicts, which is a stain on the public conscience. Hence, the international community should stop playing the role of spectator and take serious step to put an end to the ongoing conflicts so as to mitigate the public sufferings. 

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