U.S. and Allies Killing More Afghan Civilians Than the Taliban Are

Afghanistan Pro-government forces killed more civilians than insurgents did in 2019 says UN

Representative image | REUTERS Omar Sobhani

The report says that During the first three months of 2019, Anti-Government Elements remained responsible for the majority of civilian casualties, causing 963 civilian casualties (227 deaths and 736 injured), representing a 36 per cent decrease as compared to the same time period in 2018.

UNAMA "attributed 17 percent of civilian casualties to the Afghan national security forces, 13 percent to global military forces, 2 percent to pro-Government armed groups, and 2 percent to multiple Pro-Government Forces". - U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) April 25, 2019Advocating "ceasefire" as the only solution for reducing casualties, Khalilzad said, "We deeply regret any loss of innocent life during military operations".

He struck a different tone than the spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Dave Butler, who said the United States pursued "the highest standards of accuracy and accountability" and that troops "reserve the right of self-defence".

"UNAMA attributed 17% of civilian casualties to the Afghan national security forces, 13% to global military forces, 2% to pro-government armed groups, and 2% to multiple pro-government forces", the report said.

Some 7,362 US bombs were dropped in Afghanistan in 2018, compared to 4,361 in 2017, the US Air Force Central Command reports.

In 2017, the USA military started quickening its operational tempo after President Donald Trump loosened restrictions and made it easier for American forces to bomb Taliban positions.

"Near the end of 2018 the Afghan government controlled the smallest amount of territory since a USA military watchdog - the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) - started keeping track in 2015". Afghanistan's fledgeling air force is also flying more sorties. We strive for precision in all of our operations. The report noted the decline was "driven" by a lower number of suicide bombings, but it was unclear whether the harsh winter or planned peace talks in Doha, Qatar, played any role. For instance, more than 100 people were killed in Kabul in January 2018 when an explosives-packed ambulance blew up.

"All parties must do more to safeguard civilians", Yamamoto said in a statement.

"A shocking number of civilians continue to be killed and maimed each day", said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says it is "concerned" with "significant increases in civilian casualties from aerial and search operations, which drove an overall increase in civilian casualties by Pro-Government Forces". The Afghan people have had enough violence and want an end to the war.

It also noted that the comparison was affected by the fact that past year saw one of the deadliest attacks of the entire war, when nearly 350 people were killed or wounded in a suicide blast in Kabul in January 2018.

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