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Civilians continue to bear brunt of Afghan conflict, UN report reveals

Civilians continue to bear brunt of Afghan conflict, UN report reveals

India Blooms News Service | 06 Aug 2015, 02:54 pm
New York, Aug 6 (IBNS): Civilians continued to bear the brunt of the Afghan conflict in the first half of 2015, the United Nations reported on Wednesday, noting that casualties are projected to equal or exceed the record high numbers documented last year.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have documented 4,921 civilian casualties (1,592 deaths and 3,329 injured) in the first half of 2015.

This is a one per cent increase in total civilian casualties compared to the same period in 2014.

The vast majority – or 90 per cent – of civilian casualties resulted from ground engagements, improvised explosive devices, complex and suicide attacks and targeted killings, according to the 2015 Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, which was released today.

Civilians continued to bear the brunt of the Afghan conflict in the first half of 2015, the United Nations reported today, noting that casualties are projected to equal or exceed the record high numbers documented last year.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have documented 4,921 civilian casualties (1,592 deaths and 3,329 injured) in the first half of 2015.

This is a one per cent increase in total civilian casualties compared to the same period in 2014.

The vast majority – or 90 per cent – of civilian casualties resulted from ground engagements, improvised explosive devices, complex and suicide attacks and targeted killings, according to the 2015 Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, which was released on Wednesday.

“Until peace is achieved, all parties to the conflict must fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law to minimize the impact of the conflict on civilians and match their public statements on the protection of civilians with concrete actions,” he said.

In the first six months of 2015, UNAMA documented a 23 per cent increase in casualties among women and a 13 per cent increase in casualties among children.

“The rise in the numbers of women and children killed and maimed from conflict-related violence is particularly disturbing,” said Danielle Bell, Director of Human Rights at UNAMA.

Bell said, “This year, UNAMA recorded the highest number of children and women casualties compared to the same period in previous years."

"All parties to the conflict must undertake stronger measures to protect civilians from harm. When the conflict kills or maims a mother, child, sister or brother, the repercussions for families and communities are devastating and long-lasting,” Bell added.

The report outlines key steps to be taken by parties to the conflict to mitigate casualties and protect civilians from harm, including that anti-Government elements cease the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian locations; that the Government cease firing mortars, rockets and grenades into civilian-populated areas; and that international military forces continue to take steps to protect civilians during ground and aerial operations.

Photo: UNHCR/S. Sisomsack

Civilians continue to bear brunt of Afghan conflict, UN report reveals

India Blooms News Service
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