The Kabul Times.
Editorial

Civilians’ protection main priority of Afghan government

A recent Human Rights Watch report says that CIA-backed Afghan strike forces are once again under fire in Afghanistan, this time for tactics – night-time raids into homes in remote villages, forced disappearances, attacks on healthcare facilities and summary executions.
In a damning 50-page report released on Thursday, the New York-based rights group documents 14 cases across nine provinces over the last two years, that they say clearly illustrate that the Afghan forces trained and funded by the US intelligence agency have shown little concern for civilian life and or accountability to international law.
But the National Security Council reacted to the Human Rights Watch report, saying the report has some realities but others need clarification. The Afghan government said it was evaluating the report and will provide thorough response in near future.
Meanwhile the government has time and again insisted that Afghan forces have been fully trained to prevent civilians’ casualties in war zones and even dozens of the operations were previously delayed since civilians could be affected.
Indeed, the main policy of the Afghan government, in particular the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) is to protect lives of the innocent civilians in combat zones and their properties. 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.
The militants, mainly Taliban forcefully take position in civilian’ houses and use people as human shield and cause casualties during the conflicts. Meanwhile the militants are mostly behind civilian casualties in the country, as they directly target people with suicide attacks, roadside mines and kidnappings. Therefore, the watchdog reports should be based on realities on the ground and even lack essential precision and proper evidence.
The country’s ruled laws emphasizing on protection of civilians and providing of a safe and sound environment for them. Therefore, the Afghan government specially armed forces obliging themselves for preservation of people’s lives and properties. The government leaders have always instructed ANDSF to do their best 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.
But that is not sufficient, the forces need to improve their intelligence coordination to better perform their operations and further decrease harm to the civilians. 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.
The people can also report militancy and illegal activities of the armed individuals to the security forces. Such neglecting, would further deteriorate the situation and the people would continue to bear the brunt of war in the country.
People’s 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.