Stop killing civilians, youth urges warring parties
KABUL (Pajhwok): A youth organization on Sunday called for an end to the killing of civilians in the conflict-related violence and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The group “Youth Coordination and Empowerment” condemned a recent wave of attacks in Kabul in a statement with headline “The government’s negligence and youth’s reaction.”
The central capital witnessed heavy blasts and insurgent attacks during the past two days. A heavy blast rocked Shah Shaheed area and a coalition base came under a coordinated attack from insurgents and a suicide bomber struck a police academy in the limits of the fifth police district during the two days.
The attack in Shah Shaheed area left 15 civilians dead and more than 400 others wounded. The other two incidents left about 50 people, including civilians and security personnel, dead and wounded.
The Taliban have claimed credit for the attacks on the coalition base and the police academy, but there has been no claim of responsibility from any group for the attack in the Shah Shaheed area.
The youth organization in its statement said mostly civilians were killed and wounded in such attacks in violation of Islamic and human principles.
It said civilian casualties were on the increase in Afghanistan because the warring parties had failed to fulfill their responsibility in this regard.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a report published on Wednesday said civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit a record high in the first half of 2015.
The report said 1592 civilians were killed, a six percent fall from last year, but the number of injured increased by four percent to 3329.
“The entire nation, particularly the Afghan youth, can no longer remain silent over civilian casualties and will show a strong reaction,” the organization said in its statement.
It asked the Taliban to present a clear definition for civilians and honour their pledges about protection of civilian lives and properties.
The statement said the insurgents should prosecute those involved in killing civilians and stop attacks that caused casualties to civilians.
It asked the government to introduce reforms to the security sector for the sake of improvement in the security situation and prevent all acts that could harm civilians.
“The government should carry out wide-ranging operations against illegal armed groups, private militias, terrorist groups and bring to justice those involved in the killing of civilians.”
It also called for the introduction of a defence minister nominee and said: “The government is responsible to prepare operations by foreign forces in line with the country’s laws and bilateral agreements.”
The youth organisation’s leader, Inayatullah Nasir, said if such incidents continued, they would launch a countrywide campaign to raise their voice and do something practical.
He said the nation could no longer stay silent over civilian deaths and did not accept apologies from foreign troops after operations resulting in civilian casualties.
Afghanistan Human Rights Commission member Abdul Rahmat Hotak said the conflict in Afghanistan was ongoing in residential areas in violation of recognized international laws.
He said bombs were being planted and exploded in crowded areas and on roads and routes used by common people.
“We want the insurgents to learn a lesson from the past wars. Their leader had died two years ago, they had been deceived. After this, the insurgents will be responsible for every killing ,” he said.
Hotak said nearly 40,000 civilians had been killed in Afghanistan during the past six years and urged the warring sides to spare civilians and the rebels to renounce violence and make peace with the government.
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