Friday, February 10, 2012

Afghan Deaths Set Record High in 2011 | United Nations

Civilian deaths from the war have increased for the fifth year in a row. The record loss of the life for men, women and children creates anger, fear and resentment at all parties.

The foreign occupying armies whose very presence and kill/capture policies have escalated fighting, the anti-government forces who are increasingly killing people, and the dramatic increase in deaths attributed to the Afghan National Security Forces.

The vast majority of Afghans want the violence from all parties to end. There is more background information on previous UNAMA reports at the bottom of this message.

Kate Clark writing for the Afghanistan Analysts Network has a good summary. The title of her essay is ‘Talks have not stopped killing of Afghan Civilians.'

“Reading UNAMA’s latest annual report on the protection of civilians is difficult – a bludgeoning of the brain with statistics of death, injury and bereavement. It is an indication that whatever assertions might be made of progress in the war, Afghan civilians are dying in increasing numbers. It reinforces the urgency – as peace talks may now be on the agenda - of the war itself needing to be ended. And as UNAMA itself says: ‘[A]ny such negotiations [should] place the highest priority on protection of civilians in the ongoing armed conflict and in any outcome that leads to its resolution with an emphasis on concrete and effective measures to reduce civilian deaths and injuries.’

‘Anti-government elements’ continue to kill the vast majority of civilians. UNAMA puts this figure at 77 per cent:”


“Deaths by ‘pro-Government elements’ which include international and Afghan government forces are down by four per cent, although there has been a marked increase in deaths from aerial attacks and a 196 per cent increase in deaths by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Geographically, the impact of the war has got less, although it is still bad in the south, and it has got a lot worse in the south east and east.”

Background to UNAMA reporting on civilian deaths

Starting in 2009, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began to document and publish details about the violence against civilians in Afghanistan every six months. Each six month report has shown an increase in violence against civilians. It is important to note that the beginning of the reporting cycle started with levels of violence higher than at any point since 2001. Irrefutable evidence that violence against civilians is increasing.

Here is how they defined general trends in the first mid-year report of June 2009.

"Armed conflict in Afghanistan intensified significantly after 2005, with insurgent/AGE attacks and operations by PGF encroaching into more areas of the country. As the conflict has widened and deepened throughout 2007, 2008 and into 2009, almost a third of the country is now directly affected by insurgent activities with differing intensity."

Annual Report 2009

"The intensification and spread of the armed conflict in Afghanistan continued to take a heavy toll on civilians throughout 2009. At least 5,978 civilians were killed and injured in 2009, the highest number of civilian casualties recorded since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001."

Mid-Year 2010

"The human cost of the armed conflict in Afghanistan is escalating in 2010. In the first six months of the year civilian casualties – including deaths and injuries of civilians - increased by 31 per cent over the same period in 2009."

Annual report 2010

"The human cost of the armed conflict in Afghanistan grew in 2010. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and UNAMA Human Rights recorded 2,777 civilian deaths in 2010, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2009. Over the past four years, 8,832 civilians have been killed in the conflict, with civilian deaths increasing each year."

Mid-Year 2011

"UNAMA documented 1,462 civilian deaths in the first six months of 2011, an increase of 15 percent over the same period in 2010. The main trends that led to rising civilian casualties in early 2011 were increased and widespread use of improvised explosive devices, more complex suicide attacks, an intensified campaign of targeted killings, increased ground fighting, and a rise in civilian deaths from air strikes, particularly by Apache helicopters."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
215-241-7000 ·