Thursday, July 14, 2011

ICRC | Insecurity at a critical level for civilians

Pierre Krähenbühl, the director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is in Afghanistan on a five-day visit. He has met with national and international leaders and officials and with members of the armed opposition to share ICRC's concerns for the civilian population at a time when the armed conflict is entering a new phase.

Here is his statement.

"Insecurity is at a level that is critical for Afghans everywhere, in cities as in remote rural villages.

"Afghans today are living in an environment where increasing numbers of people openly carry weapons and armed groups proliferate," said Mr Krähenbühl. "Besides uniformed forces, a multitude of opposition and pro-government armed groups are actively engaged in fighting."

''Afghans living in villages where conflict is rife are having to take an impossible decision: choose sides or leave home,'' added Mr Krähenbühl. "This is the reality of Afghanistan today."

Afghanistan is the ICRC's biggest operation in terms of resources committed. The organization has nearly 1,600 national staff and 142 expatriates based in its main delegation in Kabul and in five sub-delegations and 10 offices countrywide. In addition, it operates seven physical rehabilitation centres.

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Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
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