UNAMA: Afghanistan Among Deadliest Countries in the World—Who is to Blame?

The UNAMA report on civilian casualties shows that Afghanistan is still one of the deadliest countries in the world.

Although the number of civilian casualties this year is the lowest since 2012, according to the report, civilian casualties in the first nine months of 2020 have been particularly tragic for the Afghan people, as the causes of these casualties have been mainly due to war and mine explosions. According to the report, the Taliban were responsible for 45% of the casualties, while Afghan security forces were blamed for 23%. There were also a lot of victims who survived, but with disabilities.

The report thus concludes that despite the start of direct peace talks, Afghanistan is still among the deadliest countries for civilians.

The report also states that the warring parties should prioritize talks at the negotiating table to save lives.

Efforts to end the war have been underway since March this year. These include the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement, the Kabul-Washington Joint Declaration, and the UN Security Council resolution approving both documents. The reality, however, is that not all of these efforts have managed to reduce violence on the battlefield.

The people of Afghanistan are the main victims of wars that are still raging. In the past week, war was going on in 26 provinces of Afghanistan. The UNAMA report shows that the Afghan people have suffered a lot in this war.

The U.S. Department of State’s representative for peace has repeatedly said that the main focus of the Doha agreement was to reduce violence. But, despite the Taliban’s stated commitment to reducing violence, they have intensified the use of violence on the battlefield, with the Taliban being responsible for the largest number of civilian casualties, according to UNAMA.

Although the Taliban rejected the UNAMA findings in a statement today, the reality on the ground is proof enough.

Since the start of the talks, the Afghan government has always spoken of ceasefire as a priority. The Taliban, on the other hand, has not even committed themselves to reducing violence; their recent attacks on the centers of Helmand, Farah, Badakhshan, and other Afghan provinces show that, despite their claims of wanting to reduce violence, it has only escalated. As a result, thousands of civilians have been displaced in places like Lashkargah, as a result of this escalation.

In the early days of the peace talks, the Afghan people were optimistic about the Taliban’s promises. The Taliban’s decision to attend the talks was believed to represent a commitment to ending the war. All Afghans welcomed their decision and hopes of peace were revived in their hearts. After having suffered daily as victims of the longest war, it was the dream of all Afghans that this war would finally come to an end. Although the Taliban continued their attacks during the talks, they pledged not to attack large cities on the principle of reducing violence, but the escalation of violence in recent days belies this pledge. The Taliban never agreed to comply with the ceasefire. According to irrefutable facts on the ground, the Taliban are to blame for the recent escalation of violence, while the Afghan government, by putting security forces on active defense and constantly emphasizing ceasefire, is in a morally superior position.

Even US agencies have pressured the representative of the U.S. Department of State for peace in Afghanistan, by citing the reality of the battlefields, saying that the Taliban have continued their violence despite their commitment to reducing it. Zalmai Khalilzad’s efforts to reduce violence were unsuccessful, and US forces eventually launched airstrikes on Taliban positions in Helmand and Maidan Wardak conflicts.

What the world, the region, and the people of Afghanistan want is a ceasefire. The Taliban’s intention when it comes to peace will only be clear when they reduce the violence waged by them, accept the ceasefire, and continue with negotiations.

According to a recent UNAMA report, 2,117 civilians were killed and 3,822 were injured in the last nine months.