UN wants all warring parties to protect civilians
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations on Wednesday reminded all warring parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians from harm and to respect human rights.
As the battle for Kunduz City continues, the UN’s top diplomat in Afghanistan said: “Reports of extrajudicial executions, including of healthcare workers, abductions, denial of medical care and restrictions on movement out of the city are particularly disturbing.”
Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, said: “I am deeply concerned about the situation in Kunduz following the Taliban’s attack on the city.”
Preliminary information indicates the current fighting has caused more than 100 civilian deaths and injuries, and there are concerns the number of casualties will rise. The UN has received reports up to 6,000 civilians have fled the city.
In a statement, UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Mark Bowden stressed: “The protection of civilians must remain at the core of any response to the current situation in Kunduz and Taliban and Afghan security forces must take all feasible actions to prevent civilian casualties.”
Parties to the conflict must not use improvised explosive devices and indirect heavy weapons in populated areas of the city, he said, adding the wounded must be allowed access to medical treatment and parties to the conflict must not restrict the work of humanitarian personnel.
The United Nations in Afghanistan reiterated its unwavering commitment to the Afghans and expresses its continued support of initiatives to strengthen the protection of civilians and the promotion of human rights.
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