Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Civilians casualty!

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Civilians casualty!

Since last couple of months incidents in Afghanistan clearly showed that the lives of the civilians are in jeopardy and according to reports the Taliban are mainly responsible for it. The incidents showed that Taliban have started targeting the civilians directly. Moreover, the butchery shown in the incidents are really heinous and there have to be serious steps to counter them otherwise they would threaten the lives of the common people to a great extent. 
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in April called on all parties to the conflict to take precautions to protect civilians during operations. The release of the first quarter civilian casualty data for 2016 showed continued record numbers of civilian casualties.
“Even if a conflict intensifies, it does not have to be matched by corresponding civilian suffering provided parties take their international humanitarian law and human rights obligations seriously,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA. “Failure to respect humanitarian obligations will result in more suffering in a nation that has suffered enough.”
“Human rights workers have worried about the challenges of tallying the victims of the war since violence first started sweeping across Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. Initially, neither the Afghan government nor the foreign forces were systematically tracking deaths, and so in 2007 the United Nations set up a rigorous monitoring system, requiring three independent sources to verify each civilian killed.
It has listed nearly 25,000 civilian victims of the war over nine years, and tens of thousands more injured. But the strict standards that make the database so respected have always created concerns that they could be missing casualties, according to The Guardian report published on May 07, 2016.
Taliban, on various occasions, have claimed that they would not target the civilians directly but the reality about attacks is totally against what is claimed by them.  According to UNAMA 1,943 civilian casualties (600 deaths and 1,343 injured) in the period between January 01 and March 31, 2016. These figures mark an overall increase in civilian casualties of two per cent compared to the same period in 2015 with a 13 per cent decrease in deaths but an 11 per cent increase in injuries. Consistent with 2015 trends, ground engagements caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), complex and suicide attacks, as well as targeted killings.
The concerns still remain very much disturbing as the number of civilians being killed as a result of insurgency still remains very high. Civilian killings, therefore, clearly depict that Taliban do not care much about the civilian casualties; what they mostly care about is their threat and dominancy over the security arrangements. Unfortunately, they pursue their objectives through the coward means of targeting the civilians.
The common masses in Afghanistan must bother about the deterioration in security as they are basically the ones who have been suffering and may suffer to a further extent if instability and terrorism prevail in the country. It is really pathetic to see the civilians losing their lives when they have nothing to do with the war. In the economically unstable and war-torn country like Afghanistan, people have not only suffered the hardships of the poor and miserable lives but also the horrors of war. They have been killed mercilessly as if their lives do not have any value or meaning and it is important to see that the Taliban are mostly behind the demise of the poor civilians. It is really unfortunate to note that they still remain powerful enough to conduct their merciless efforts to target the civilians in addition to the Afghan and international forces.
Different attacks, bombings, shootings and suicide bombings of the vicious guardians of the so-called holy war have only been able to target the children, women and non-military figures. With the presence of such facts, it is weird to find Taliban calling themselves friendly to Afghan people.
They have been trying to develop an image of caring and affectionate body that is trying to liberate the people of Afghanistan from the Western forces. But the fact is just on the contrary. They just want power and for that they will never hesitate to sacrifice the poor Afghan people. If they come to power, it is evident that Afghan people will never have peace, contentment and above all their due rights.

The innocent people of Afghanistan deserve that the Afghan government and the international community must ensure to them a better future. They need to make sure that the post transition period in Afghanistan will be a period that can give poverty stricken Afghan people security and basic requirements of living; provide them better representation and participation in political and social life and make them capable of governing themselves peacefully.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at email.urya@gmail.com

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