Minister of Human Resources Wraps up Saudi Arabia's Participation in G20 Labor Ministers in Italy    Wall Street Closing    Bahrain Condemns Terrorist Houthi Militia's Launching of Drones towards Saudi Southern Region    Pedestrian bridge collapses onto Washington, DC, highway, injuring several    US voices 'grave concern' after airstrike kills dozens at market in Ethiopia's Tigray region    John McAfee, antivirus software creator, found dead in Spanish prison    Russian ambassador to US arrives in Washington    MoH administers over 16.8 million coronavirus vaccine doses, covering 70% of Saudi Arabia's adult population    SAGO receives first vessel of wheat produced by Saudi investment abroad    Over 15 million Zamzam water bottles distributed at Grand Mosque    GAMI Presents Growth Strategy for Saudi Military Sector in USSABC Webinar    KSrelief Continues Implementing Water and Sanitation Project in Hodeidah Governorate, Yemen    Bahrain Two Main Indexes End Trading Up    Bahrain starts exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas    Egyptian Foreign Minister Meets with German National Security Advisor    Bank of England issues new 50 pound sterling banknote    HRC President Meets with Chief of OHCHR MENA Section    Chairman and CEO of STC Thank Saudi Leadership for Licensing STC Bank as First Digital Bank in Saudi Arabia    Saudi national team wins 2 gold medals at Arab Athletics Championship    Tawakkalna's Update Includes New Hajj, SOS Services    Saudi National Team Wins 2 Gold Medals at Arab Athletics Championship    NEOM, KAUST Partner to Establish Biggest Coral Garden in World    Judge, officials and others arrested in corruption crackdown    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Achieves Highest Level in Digital Regulatory Maturity Index    HRC official highlights measures to support prisoners and families    Dubai opens one of the world's largest in-house airport PCR test labs    Saudi foreign minister, Austrian counterpart discuss ways to boost bilateral ties    Tokyo Olympics: Limited local fans allowed to attend but no cheering    Saudi, Indian ministries sign historic MoU on yoga cooperation    Minister of Sports unveils 'Nafes' platform to boost private sector investment in Saudi Arabia    RSIFF celebrates Saudi Cinema Nights in Jeddah on June 16–17    "Scripts and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey" Exhibition Begins to Receive Visitors Today    $10 million Red Sea Fund to back over 100 projects    Saudi Music Commission Dedicates Patriotic Song to Green Falcons    Indian man believed to have headed 'world's largest family' dies    Ministry of Health: People With Obesity are Most Vulnerable to COVID-19 Infections    Saudi National Team Beats Singaporean Counterpart 3-0 in FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers    Saudi National Shooting Team Wins Gold, Silver Medals in Arab Shooting Championship    Saudi U-20 Team Beats Bosnia at End of Croatian Tournament    Ithra Holds Environment Exhibit    Use of external loudspeakers at mosques to be restricted to Adhan and Iqamat-ul-salah    From whom do we take Shariah? How do we get legitimacy?    Welcome to beautiful Ramadan customs    Vaccination does not invalidate fasting, says UAE Fatwa Council    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    Senior Scholars Council Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Prayers at Mosques in a Case of Spread of Epidemic or Fear of its Spread    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





‘Disturbing spike' in Afghan civilian casualties after peace talks began: UN report
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 02 - 2021

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan witnessed a sharp rise since peace negotiations started in September last year, even though overall deaths and injuries dropped in 2020, compared to the previous year, according to a UN human rights report launched Tuesday.
In their annual Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Annual Report, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) documented some 8,820 civilian casualties (3,035 deaths and 5,785 injuries) in 2020, about 15 percent less than in 2019.
It was also the first time the figure fell below 10,000 since 2013.
However, the country remains amongst the "deadliest places in the world to be a civilian", according to Michelle Bachelet, UN high commissioner for human rights.
"I am particularly appalled by the high numbers of human rights defenders, journalists, and media workers killed since peace negotiations began in September," she said.
At least 11 rights defenders, journalists and media workers lost their lives since September, resulting in many professionals exercising self-censorship in their work, quitting their jobs, and even leaving their homes and the country – in hope it will improve their safety.
Rise in ‘targeted killings'
According to the report, the overall drop in civilian casualties in 2020 was due to fewer casualties from suicide attacks by anti-government elements in populated areas, as well as drop in casualties attributed to international military forces.
There was, however, a "worrying rise" in targeted killings by such elements — up about 45 percent over 2019. The use of pressure-plate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the Taliban, air strikes by the Afghan Air Force, and ground engagements also resulted in increased casualties, the report said.
According to the report, anti-government elements bore responsibility for about 62 percent civilian casualties, while pro-government forces were responsible for about 25 percent casualties. About 13 percent of casualties were attributed to crossfire and other incidents.
2020 could have been ‘a year of peace'
Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, called on all parties to take immediate and concrete action to protect civilians, urging them "not to squander a single day in taking the urgent steps to avoid more suffering".
"2020 could have been the year of peace in Afghanistan. Instead, thousands of Afghan civilians perished due to the conflict," Lyons said.
The "overriding objective" of the report is to provide the parties responsible with the facts, and recommendations, so they take immediate and concrete steps to protect civilians, she added.
Lyons highlighted that "ultimately, the best way to protect civilians is to establish a humanitarian ceasefire" — a call consistently made by Secretary-General António Guterres and the Security Council.
"Parties refusing to consider a ceasefire must recognize the devastating consequences of such a posture on the lives of Afghan civilians."
‘Shocking toll' on women and children
The report went on to note that the years-long conflict in Afghanistan "continues to wreak a shocking and detrimental toll" on women and children, who accounted for 43 percent of all civilian casualties — 30 percent children and 13 percent women.
"This report shows the acute, lasting needs of victims of the armed conflict and demonstrates how much remains to be done to meet those needs in a meaningful way," High Commissioner Bachelet said.
"The violence that has brought so much pain and suffering to the Afghan population for decades must stop and steps towards reaching a lasting peace must continue."
Attacking civilians ‘serious violations'
With the conflict continuing, parties must do more to prevent and mitigate civilian casualties, the report said, urging them to fully implement the report's recommendations and to ensure that respect and protection of human rights is central to the ongoing peace negotiations.
It also reminded the parties that deliberately attacking civilians or civilian objects are serious violations of international humanitarian law that may amount to war crimes. — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.