Friday, February 16, 2018

Afghan War Continues Unabated

Out of the news headlines does not mean the Afghan war is over even if it does lead to the deportation of Afghan refugees to a country still in the midst of a civil war.

The United Nations said on Thursday that more than 10,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the ongoing war in Afghanistan in 2017, with militant bombings responsible for inflicting a major proportion of casualties. 2017 was the fourth consecutive year, where the UN recorded more than 10,000 civilian causalities.

Nearly two-thirds of all casualties were caused by anti-government elements with the Taliban and the "Islamic State" (IS) inflicting maximum damage. Pro-government forces caused a fifth of the casualties with 16 percent attributed to Afghan forces, 2 percent to international forces.  Casualties caused by airstrikes jumped 7 percent.

Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan said:  "Figures alone cannot capture the appalling human suffering inflicted on ordinary people, especially women and children."

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said: "Afghan civilians have been killed going about their daily lives — traveling on a bus, praying in a mosque, simply walking past a building that was targeted. Such attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law and are likely, in most cases, to constitute war crimes. The perpetrators must be identified and held accountable," he said.

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