The Kabul Times.
Politics

Increasing concerns over civilian casualties in Afghanistan

By: Suraya Raiszada

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in its recent findings said that 24 innocent civilians have been killed and 43 others wounded only in two days between 27 -29 May as a result of continued violence in the country.
Based on findings of the commission, the civilians have been killed in seven separate incidents in Sar-e-Pul, Helmand, Parwan, Nangarhar and Kapisa as well as along Kabul – Herat highway as a result of airstrike, mortar shelling, machinegun firing and IED explosions.
The Independent Human Rights Commission has said the people of Afghanistan are tired of the continued violence and killings; therefore, attack on civilians, education institutions and public infrastructures should be stopped as soon as possible.
This comes amid of increasing violence and Taliban attacks in various provinces of the country. Meanwhile, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported Tuesday there was an urgent need to reduce the level of violence and that all parties to the conflict need to do more to protect civilians.
“Heavy civilian casualties recently documented by UNAMA underscore urgent need to reduce the violence, for progress in Afghanistan peace negotiations and for all parties to do much more to protect civilians from harm,” UNAMA said.
According to UNAMA, at least 23 civilians were killed and 49 were injured in just seven recorded incidents that took place over a three-day period last week in Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Sar-e-Pul, Parwan, and Kapisa provinces.
One of the key issues which has been under discussion between the Taliban and Afghanistan government has been the prevention of civilian casualties in the country. Although both the government of Afghanistan and Taliban are stressing on the protection of civilians during their attacks and operations, civilian casualty is still higher comparing to other time.
Afghanistan defense and security organs are blaming the Taliban group for increasing civilian casualties in the country, saying that Taliban by following new tactic plant mines along public roads and highways; therefore, more civilians are targeted and killed in many IED explosion incidents.
The main reason of increasing civilians casualties in the country is that Taliban has increased their attacks and violence in most provinces of the country following the official announcement of US administration for full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is also worth mentioning that the group has increased their violence and attacks to get further concessions in peace talks with Afghanistan government.
It is true that close cooperation of the people with the government particularly the country’s defense and security forces is very important and a need in such circumstances as no Afghan citizen will be safe without close cooperation between the government and people.
On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the government to make further effort towards protection and safety of civilians and try to not harm civilians upon launching military operations against the Taliban in remote areas of the country as increasing civilian casualties can harm the trust between the people and government.
Currently, the Taliban group by launching IED explosions and targeting public places is responsible for big part of civilian casualties in the country. Although the people of Afghanistan are waiting to hear good news about ending the continued war in the country, no sign for resumption of peace talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban is seen.

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The Kabul Times.