The Kabul Times.
Politics

Acceleration of peace process only option to prevent civilian casualties, lawmakers

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Increasing civilian casualties has been among serious concerns for the people and government of Afghanistan over the last eighteen years. However, the government has done much to prevent civilian casualties, but unfortunately, civilians are still the main victims during clashes.
Civil society entities and a number of lawmakers told The Kabul Times that acceleration of peace process and imposing necessary pressures on terrorism supporting countries can help prevent civilian casualties.
At the same time, calling civilians’ protection the government’s responsibility, Afghanistan’s civil society says the country’s political system should prioritize civilians’ safety.
“Civilians’ safety is one of the basic issues that has not been considerably paid heed and the government has never had any plan for that,” head of Afghanistan’s civil society association Aziz Rafiee said.
He stressed that we demand all warring-sides not to use civilians as human shield.
Expressing concern over civilian casualties, a Kabul University lecturer Najib Mahmoud said “Unfortunately, war is still mostly ongoing in some civilian areas and they have always been used as shield, an action that played effective role in raising civilian casualties’ graph.”
To prevent this issue, UN, donor countries and Afghanistan’s alliances should jointly work and pressure terrorist supporting states, besides, acceleration of peace talks can be among the main ways that can help prevent civilian casualties, he added.
Meanwhile, a number of experts and media staff while expressing concern over civilian casualties during conflicts called peace process speeding up one of the strategies that canbe effective in civilians’ protection. The government of Afghanistan is obliged to ensure citizens security through any possible means in a bid to win their trust, head of Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan (NAI) Mujeeb Khelwatgar said.
Besides ensuring citizens’ security and safety, he added that the government should push away war from residential areas and make effort not to harm civilians during military operations.
“People of Afghanistan have been witnessing horrible incidents over the last more than three decades and they have always been made sacrifices in this respect,” head of Afghanistan’s women association Fatana Gilani said.
She added peaceful ways, political and economic pressures are among the strategies that can help prevent civilian casualties.
The government of Afghanistan should make effort to accelerate peace process with those warring-parties willing to end war and accept constitution to prevent civilian casualties, she went on to say.
This comes as despite national and international efforts, still civilian casualties are among serious concerns in Afghanistan.
Suraya Raiszada

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The Kabul Times.