Afghanistan: top UN official denounces ‘extreme’ suffering of civilians in Ghazni

UNICEF/UNI152469/Dragaj
A young girl looks through a paneless window frame near Kabul, in Afghanistan, 2013. Civlilians in Afghanistan have borne the brunt of an almost 20 years of conflict.

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

With the death toll rising after days of intense fighting for the Afghan city of Ghazni, south-west of Kabul, the Head of the United Nations mission in the country (UNAMA) said on Wednesday that the situation was “unacceptable” and called on warring parties to lay down their arms and seek a political solution to the conflict.

“The Taliban’s attack against Ghazni city, and the subsequent fighting in densely populated urban spaces, has again caused terrible suffering to civilians caught in the conflict,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, in a statement.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), when the fighting began, about 270,000 residents were trapped in the city, which is located about 150 km south-west of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. Many seem to have fled the town, according to sources on the ground.

In five days of hostilities, about 150 civilians may have been killed in the fighting, along with hundreds of Government and Taliban fighters.

Reliable sources on the ground are reporting that Ghazni Public Hospital is “overwhelmed by a continuous influx” of injured members of the government forces, Taliban fighters and civilians.From the humanitarian perspective, the situation in Ghazni “remains particularly grim”, UN Special Representative Yamamoto explained.

“The fighting has led to electricity outages along with water and food shortages,” noted Mr. Yamamoto, adding that “communication networks and media outlets have been shuttered, and roads remain blocked, preventing freedom of movement for families seeking safety.”

According to OCHA, access into the town remains challenging for aid workers as well.

“Humanitarian actors ready and willing to supply desperately needed assistance must be given explicit, public and absolute guarantees by all parties to the conflict that they will be allowed to operate safely, without hindrance or any attempts to interfere with distribution carried out under humanitarian principles,” he stated.

In July, UNAMA highlighted the tragic toll that the conflict has had on Afghans in 2018, as the first half of the year was the deadliest for civilians since UNAMA began documenting civilian casualties in 2009. This, despite the unprecedented but brief ceasefire between the Government and the Taliban in mid-June to mark the end of Ramadan, which was the first one to be honored in nearly 20 years of conflict.

“Equally unacceptable”, added Mr. Yamamoto, is that the fighting has “exacerbated deep-rooted wounds dividing Afghan communities at a time when cohesion is more crucial than ever before”.

The UNAMA chief appealed to all warring parties and the international community to help bring hostilities to an end. “The fighting in Ghazni must stop and the fighting in Afghanistan must stop”, he said, stressing that “the United Nations continues to maintain that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan”.

Referring to the June ceasefire, the Special Representative said that “it illustrated to all Afghans, especially those too young to have known anything but war, what peace looks like.”

He added that the UN “stands ready to support any endeavours that would advance” an Afghan-led negotiated settlement. “Confidence-building steps that immediately reduce violence are crucial, and talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are necessary to identify and expand common ground”.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

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

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Virtual Doctor: a core part of modern healthcare?

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

Remembering Kofi Annan

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

An alternative view of Globalization 4.0, and how to get there

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Legal Manager – 2050

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

Why do medical curricula shouldn’t neglect the Sustainable Development Goals

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

Syria: Guterres concerned over reported attacks in Idlib, calls for ‘full investigation’

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

These European countries produce the most plastic waste per person

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

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