Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high – UN

Afghanistan UN 2018

Fardin Waezi/UNAMA
Funeral of civilian killed in a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2018. The UN mission in the country has reported that a record number of Afghan civilians were killed by warring parties in the first half of 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan hit a record high in the first half of the year, despite last month’s unprecedented ceasefire between the Afghan Government and the Taliban, the United Nations reported on Sunday.

According to the latest figures released on Sunday by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, known as UNAMA, there were 5,122 civilian casualties (1,692 deaths and 3,430 injured) in teh first six months of 2018 – a three per cent overall decrease in casualties from last year.

But civilian deaths were up by one per cent, the most recorded in the same time period since UNAMA began documentation of civilian casualties in 2009.

The continuing record high casualty rates  are being inflicted on civilians despite the unilateral ceasefires by Government and Taliban that occurred over the Eid al-Fitr holiday period between 15-17 June 2018.

Aside from casualties resulting from two Da’esh/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan Province (ISKP)-claimed suicide attacks in Nangarhar during the ceasefires, UNAMA said that it had documented almost no other civilian casualties during the break in fighting.

“The brief ceasefire demonstrated that the fighting can be stopped and that Afghan civilians no longer need to bear the brunt of the war,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the top UN official in Afghanistan.

“We urge parties to seize all opportunities to find a peaceful settlement – this is the best way that they can protect all civilians,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of UNAMA.

The report, which comes amid fears of an uptick in violence,  also noted that the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in attacks by Anti-Government Elements remained the leading cause of civilian casualties.

The combined use of suicide and non-suicide IEDs caused nearly half of all civilian casualties. Continuing trends first documented last year by UNAMA, the majority of IED casualties were caused by suicide and complex attacks, which again were responsible for record high civilian casualties, resulting in 1,413 civilian casualties (427 deaths and 986 injured), a 22 per cent increase.

Ground engagements were the second leading cause of civilian casualties, followed by targeted and deliberate killings, aerial operations, and explosive remnants of war.  Civilians living in the provinces of Kabul, Nangarhar, Faryab, Helmand and Kandahar were most impacted by the conflict.

“UNAMA continued to document the toxic consequences of this conflict, with Afghan boys and girls killed, maimed, sexually assaulted, abused, recruited and used by parties to the conflict,” said Danielle Bell, UNAMA’s human rights chief.

She said that conflict-related violence continued to erode the rights of children to education, healthcare, freedom of movement and other fundamental rights, as well as family life, playing outdoors and simply enjoying a childhood free of the “brutal effects of war.”

Actions by the Government of Afghanistan to prevent civilian casualties continued, resulting in a reduction of civilian deaths and injuries from their operations, particularly from ground fighting, an area that UNAMA has consistently focused its advocacy with parties to the conflict in recent years.

The full UNAMA Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2018 mid-year can be found here.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Trade defence report: restoring the level playing field for European producers

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

Dignified health for all who live here

These Harvard scientists think we’ll have to socially distance until 2022

Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

The vegan economy is booming – and Big Food wants a slice of it

Central African Republic: Guterres says UN mission committed to protecting civilians, helping stabilize country, as violence flares

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Anti-vaccination: a private choice leading to collective outcomes

Lies and reality about incomes and wealth in the EU

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future that protects EU citizens and the environment

Protect women’s rights ‘before, during and after conflict’ UN chief tells high-level Security Council debate

In Yemen, Special Envoy sees UN role in preserving ‘essential’ aid pipeline at country’s major port

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Making Artificial Intelligence ethical, safe and innovative

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

The EU invites the US and Russia to partition Ukraine

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Pandemic and quarantine: What can we do for our mental health?

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

We can save our ocean in three steps – if we act now

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

‘Critical moment’ for sustainable development, UN chief tells major financing forum

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

New technologies, artificial intelligence aid fight against global terrorism

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

The COVID-19 recovery can be the vaccine for climate change

The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

Samoa measles outbreak claims 70 lives, majority are children under five

Survivors of ISIL terror in Iraq want justice, not revenge, says head of UN investigation team

Joint Statement on European Immunization Week 2021: Celebrating the past, present and future benefits of vaccines

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

A good night’s sleep ‘washes’ your brain, scientists say

“Cyber security is a shared responsibility: stop, think, connect”, a Sting Exclusive by EU Commissioner Gabriel

Sanity in times of COVID-19

Syria: At least seven children killed in yet another airstrike

Why exporters need to mind the trade finance gap

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

Why cybersecurity should be standard due diligence for investors

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

270 million people are migrants, who send home a staggering $689 billion

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Aid funding for Occupied Palestinian Territories at ‘all-time low’

How the digital economy is shaping a new Bangladesh

The world is getting angrier, according to a new poll

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s