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Mission Accomplished? Civilian Casualties In Afghanistan Are Mounting

A massive Truck bomb shook the center of Kabul, killing at least 80 and injuring up to 400 civilians on Wednesday. Attacks against civilians have been on the rise in recent years, causing more than 11,400 deaths and injuries in 2016, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Infographic: Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan are Mounting | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

As Statista's Dyfed Loesche notes, the figure has almost doubled compared to 2009.

This appalling conflict destroys lives and tears communities apart in every corner of Afghanistan. Real protection of civilians requires commitment and demonstrated concrete actions to protect civilians from harm and for parties to the conflict to ensure accountability for indiscriminate and deliberate acts of civilian harm.”

-Tadamichi Yamamoto, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Kabul, February 2017.

 

Children have been killed, blinded, crippled – or inadvertently caused the death of their friends – while playing with unexploded ordnance that is negligently left behind by parties to the conflict. Women continue to be brutally punished in parallel so-called ‘justice’ processes while religious minorities are targeted as they pray in their mosques. The consequences of each act of violence ripple through families and entire communities that are left broken, unable to sustain themselves and largely failing to obtain any semblance of justice or reparation. After nearly 40 years of constantly evolving armed conflict in Afghanistan, a Daesh franchise has now surfaced as an additional, deadly component. It is about time the various parties to the conflict ceased the relentless commission of war crimes and thought about the harm they are doing to their mothers, fathers, children and future generations by continuing to fuel this senseless, never-ending conflict.”

-Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, February 2017.

Especially in conflicts like in Afghanistan, where the warring factions do not all wear uniforms, most notably the Taliban, it can be hard to make a clear distinction between civilians and non-civilian combatants.