Afghans dying at ‘unacceptable’ stage amid peace push: UN

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Civilians are being killed and wounded at a “stunning and unacceptable” stage in Afghanistan’s battle regardless of a push to finish the 18-year-old battle, the UN stated Tuesday. The most recent info from the UN Help Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) exhibits a 27 p.c drop in casualties for the primary half of 2019 in comparison with the identical interval final yr – which was a file – however nonetheless, 1,366 civilians have been killed and one other 2,446 injured.

Whereas the UN welcomed the lower, it “continues to treat the extent of hurt achieved to civilians as stunning and unacceptable,” UNAMA stated in an announcement. The company “acknowledges that events have introduced efforts to scale back civilian casualties, however they’re inadequate.” UNAMA additionally stated that for the second quarter operating, US and pro-government forces triggered extra civilian deaths than the Taliban and different rebel teams.

Through the first half of 2019 pro-government forces, together with the US, killed 717 civilians, a rise of 31 p.c from a yr earlier. A lot of the deaths got here from US and Afghan air strikes, usually in assist of nationwide forces on the bottom. Colonel Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US Forces-Afghanistan, disputed UNAMA’s information and stated the US navy investigates all civilian casualty allegations in what’s a “advanced setting”.

“USFOR-A rejects UNAMA’s strategies and findings. Sources with restricted info and conflicted motives should not all the time credible,” Leggett stated in an announcement. “We comply with the very best requirements of accuracy and accountability and all the time work to keep away from hurt to civilian non-combatants.” Afghanistan’s bloody toll is climbing amid a months-long, US-led push to forge a peace cope with the Taliban that may see international forces give up the nation in return for numerous safety ensures.

Earlier this month as a part of that effort, Taliban officers met at a historic summit with Afghan representatives at an “intra-Afghan dialogue” in Doha. Delegates issued a obscure decision that included a pledge to scale back civilian casualties to “zero”, however within the weeks since, extraordinary Afghans have continued to be killed and wounded. “Everybody heard the message loud and clear from Afghan delegates within the Doha talks – ‘cut back civilian casualties to zero!'” UNAMA head Tadamichi Yamamoto stated in an announcement.

“We urge all events to heed this crucial, to reply the decision of Afghans for quick steps to be taken to scale back the horrible hurt being inflicted.” Little one casualties represented virtually one-third of the general whole of civilian casualties, with 327 deaths and 880 injured, UNAMA stated. A UN tally discovered final yr was the deadliest on file, with no less than 3,804 civilian deaths brought on by the battle – together with 927 kids.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2019

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