Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, March 6th, 2021

‘Violence Reduction’ in Afghanistan Must Mean No Civilian Casualties: Amnesty

‘Violence Reduction’ in Afghanistan Must Mean No Civilian Casualties: Amnesty

LONDON - The United States and the Taliban's negotiations over a reduction of violence must include a commitment by both sides to end all attacks on civilians, Amnesty International said on Friday.
“In a conflict marked by attacks on civilians, the term ‘violence reduction’ is an absurdity. There can be no acceptable level of violence. The USA and the Afghan Taliban must commit to abide by the laws of war and end all attacks on Afghan civilians,” said Omar Waraich, Deputy South Asia Director at Amnesty International.
More than 100,000 Afghan civilians were killed or injured in the past 10 years, from the time the United Nations began compiling records.
According to the latest UN report, 2,563 civilians were killed while 5,676 others were wounded during the first nine months of 2019.
Amnesty said that civilians continue be killed in large numbers in operations by both pro-government forces and international forces on the one hand, and the Taliban and other armed groups on the other.
The Taliban and other armed groups have deliberately attacked civilians in war crimes that did not spare schools and mosques. The armed group calling itself the Islamic State in Khorasan has deployed its virulent sectarianism in attacks on religious minorities, including the bombing of a Shi’a Hazara wedding last August, claiming the lives of nearly 100 people, Amnesty said.
Pro-government and international forces have been responsible for civilian casualties in aerial attacks and night-time ‘search operations’, it said.
The US and the Taliban are believed to be nearing a peace deal. The group has said that it is ready for a reduction of violence in Afghanistan, without explaining how.
“Claims of peace cannot be taken seriously as long as combatants continue to target civilians. They must commit to protecting civilians, and all attacks on civilians must be investigated and prosecuted. Peace talks must not, under any circumstances, become a licence for impunity,” said Omar Waraich. (1TV NEWS)