UN Raises Concerns Over Civilian Causalities In Armed Conflicts

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his recent report to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has raised concerns over civilian fatalities in armed conflicts in a number of countries, including Afghanistan. 

Guterres’ report was assessed by UNSC on May 23 in which he has said most of the war victims are civilians.

According to Guterres, although progress has been made in protecting civilians, still a big number of civilian losses their lives in conflicts, mostly in violence where humanitarian laws are stepped on.

The report highlights that out of the total 22,800 civilians’ causalities in six countries in 2018.

“Despite these advances, grave human suffering still being caused by armed conflicts and lack of compliance to the international humanitarian law. As my report underlines, civilians continue to make up the vast majority of causalities in conflicts. In 2018 alone, the United Nations recorded the decent injury of more than 22,800 civilians in just six countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen,” Guterres said.

Guterres asked the countries to prepare appropriate approaches for protecting civilians and also put an end to the culture of impunity.

Federico Borello, Executive Director at Center for Civilians in Conflict at UN, meanwhile, said the UNSC and the countries in conflict should take steps to end the civilians’ suffering.

“The situation is no hopeless, but we need action by the Security Council, the United Nations and all governments to reduce the suffering experienced by millions of civilians caught in conflict,” Borello said.

Youssof Ghafoorzai, Counselor of Afghanistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said the Taliban are killing civilians and causing destructions in response to the Afghan government and the international community’s request for peace continued violence.

“The Taliban and their affiliated terrorist groups have continued their attacks on all segments of Afghan society, ordinary Afghans, religious figures and journalists. They also attack public infrastructures such as schools, hospitals and religious sites. As such, they have spared no one from their brutality,” Ghafoorzai said.

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