UNAMA findings show 30% decline in civilian casualties in nine months

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KABUL: Civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict have dropped by 30 percent in the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, revealed a report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Tuesday.


UNAMA findings showed that the high level of violence continued with devastating impact on civilians and Afghanistan remained the deadliest country in the world for non-combatants.


“The peace talks will need some time to help deliver peace. But all parties can immediately prioritize discussions and take urgent, and frankly overdue, additional steps to stem the terrible harm to civilians,” the source said.


UNAMA added that militants fighting the Afghan government were responsible for the majority (58 percent) of civilian losses.


Compared to the same period in 2019, although there was a decrease of 34 percent in the total number of civilian casualties attributed to AGEs, the number of civilian deaths remained at relatively similar levels.


Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) were responsible for 23 percent of all civilian casualties; a similar number was recorded in the first nine months of 2019, it said.


“Ground battles between the Taliban and Afghan forces caused most or one-third of all civilian casualties.”


UNAMA also expressed concern over the increase of civilian fatalities by Afghan Air Forces – a 70 percent spike compared to previous years.


This is while the Afghan Peace Watch (APW) through its RiV-Monitoring initiative has independently documented 1,342 civilian deaths and about 2,220 injuries since February 22, 2020. RiV tally shows the Taliban have been responsible for 65 percent of attacks while the Afghan security forces for 21 percent.