The Kabul Times.
Editorial

ANDSF combat policy is based on civilians’ protection

In a recently released report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has said that civilian casualties in July, August and September of 2019 show 42 percent increase compared to the same period of 2018.
In the first nine months of 2019, around 2563 civilians including 261 women and 631 children have been killed in Afghanistan and 5676 civilians injured. The UNAMA report has added that civilian casualties in July 2019 is the highest in the last ten years based on UNAMA registration.
According to UNAMA report, armed insurgents are the reason behind 62 percent of this casualties due to their suicide and non-suicide attacks that show 42 percent of total civilian casualties. At the same time UNAMA report has blamed pro-government forces for 26 percent of the civilian casualties that has neither been acceptable nor adaptable with reality.
The policy of the Afghan government authorities from among them the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have always emphasized on protection of people lives and properties particularly civilians and preventing of damages to citizens. Sometimes due to high precision of ANDSF aimed at protection of civilians’ lives and properties, their cordon and search cooperation against insurgents last hours and even several days that cause criticisms.
It is true that armed terrorist forcefully take position in civilian’s houses and use people as human shield and cause casualties. Due to wrong military grid references, seldomly civilians are damaged during airstrikes of ANDSF, but not to the level of UNAMA claim. UNAMA methods and sources of information also make mistake and lack essential precision and proper evidence.
The government policy is based on people protection particularly civilians. According to law, the Afghan government specially armed forces oblige themselves for preservation of people lives and properties. The Afghan government leaders have always instructed ANDSF to do their bests for this purpose and seriously avoid civilian casualties . The ANSDF have always preferred civilian’s protection on their quick overcoming to insurgents during their operations.
Indeed, the international organizations such as UN should do more to decrease level of violence in the country and encourage all warring factions for an immediate ceasefire in the country. Releasing such reports would not help, but to further deteriorate the situation as well as would confuse the public opinions.
The Afghan government’s allies should not allow the country to be repeatedly invaded by terrorist groups and other foreign elements, rather help the ANDSF in war on terror. The political circles and political leaders must also not try to victimize national interests against their own personal and family ones.
Meanwhile, people should also contribute to the security forces when they plan to have any big social events or see any suspicious issue in their community and neighborhood. Their firm cooperation would not only help improve the security, but also decreases the level of civilians’ casualties in the country. Civilians’ protection is the main priority for government and the ANDSF.

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The Kabul Times.