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ED: Civilian lives matter

The Afghan civilians, including the children and women, are becoming casualties of war in alarming numbers, leaving the civilians more at tenterhook with realization of being caught in crossfire of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Since civilians have been receiving casualties in large numbers, thus, it seems that all conflict parties hold no intention to safeguard them during their operations. Their deaths must not be treated as simple statistics without any reaction or at least to be sad over. It is a fact that our brave Afghan security forces currently fighting over 20 different terrorist groups, as well as drug lords, but at the same time they are exercising extreme caution to prevent civilian casualties—they are succeeded at some level, but more work out is need of the hour. There is no denying to the fact that main problem is the multiplicity of warfronts. But it should not be taken in context that both national and international actors restrain from prioritization of the matter of civilian lives—urgent attention in regards not to harm civilians must be applied by all sides of the conflict parties. Whether, it is Afghan forces, or the Taliban insurgents–the extremist group of Daesh, or any other party, it’s their moral obligation to prevent civilian causality in their engagement with opposite party. Only sending thoughts and prayers with no real impact on prevention of further deaths is of no use as incident after incident have frustrated victim families, putting such sympathy statement with not real action in sight, just as excuse by the responsible party to escape their wrath. Noting the current ongoing casualties, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan renewed its call upon all parties to the conflict to increase efforts to protect civilians, as the number of civilians killed and injured by armed conflict in the first quarter of 2018 remained at the same high level recorded in 2017. From 1 January to 31 March 2018, UNAMA documented 2,258 civilian casualties (763 deaths and 1,495 injured), reflecting similar levels of civilian harm documented in the first three months of 2017 and 2016. Those findings are detailed in UNAMA’s first 2018 quarterly report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan. This is heart-wrenching fact with indication that no efforts adopted in protection of civilians as constantly for three years civilians are dying in the same number. The consequence of overlooking the issue of protection of civilian lives could be resulted into more bloodshed—something the ordinary Afghans concern about, because their lives matter.


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