By: Suraya Raiszada
KABUL: Although Afghanistan government has started releasing of Taliban prisoners based on agreement signed between US and Taliban, unfortunately Taliban fighters are still continuing violence against civilians in the country.
Afghanistan National Security Council says 24 innocent civilians have been killed and 13 others wounded during the past one week as a result of Taliban attacks in various parts of the country.
According to a spokesperson to National Security Council, the insurgents continued their violent campaign against the innocent Afghan people. He said the militants have killed 24 civilians and wounded 13, including women and children in Baghlan, Takhar, Ghazni, Paktia, Logar, Laghman, Nangarhar, Farah and Kandahar provinces. Peace required a commitment to ending violence and protecting civilians.
Afghanistan war has entered its 19 years and so far, more than 100,000 innocent civilians have been killed in the country. Taliban’s continued violence against civilians in Afghanistan is an issue that has been always criticized by Afghanistan government and a number of civil society and human rights institutions.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission by pointing to civilian casualties caused by Taliban attacks has expressed concern, asking all sides to the ongoing conflict to try their best to protect the life of innocent civilians.
According to AIHRC, targeting innocent civilians by ANDSF and armed opponent groups is against the country’s constitution and international humanitarian law. AIHRC stressed on stopping violence in the country.
Also, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has also expressed concern over increasing of civilian casualties, asking the government to have programs for the protection of further civilian casualties in the country.
UNAMA has also asserted that all parties to the ongoing conflict should avoid direct attacks on innocent civilians and civilian targets and observe the international humanitarian laws.
This comes amid of increasing of Taliban attacks on innocent civilians and using civilians as shield by the Taliban in remove areas of the country.
Afghanistan government is also obliged to observe the international humanitarian laws and conventions regarding protection of civilians and has always committed to not harming civilians in their attacks on the Taliban.
A number of Afghan political experts believe that continued violence in Afghanistan has resulted in increasing civilians’ casualties in the country.
“Unfortunately, the issue of civilian casualties has changed to the most debatable issues in recent years as parties to the ongoing conflict have been accused of harming innocent civilians in the country,” said Navid Elham, an Afghan political expert.
He stressed that further coordination between ANDSF could further reduce civilian casualties when Taliban fighters were attacked in remove areas of the country.
Previously, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in an extraordinary security meeting last year asked for a clear mechanism in connection with execution military operations that could reduce civilian casualties in remote areas of the country.
It is worth mentioning that in recent year, increasing civilian casualties has changed to the most serious concerns of Afghanistan government and people as dozens of civilians have been killed in the past one year in the country.