15 August 2012 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in the eastern and southern regions presented its recent mid-year report "Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict" in Afghanistan.
At a press conference in Kandahar, the UNAMA Human rights Officer, Alexander Loden said southern region has the highest number of civilian casualties.
Majority of the victims in southern region are affected due to attacks of anti-government elements (AGE) using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Of particular concern is the use of pressure-plate IEDs (PPIEDs).
According to UNAMA’s report, the highest number of incidents occurred in the provinces of Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul, Helmand and Nimroz.
Targeted killing is another contributing factor to large numbers of civilian casualties. In the southern region, this has caused the death of 98 civilians and wounded 23 others.
In Jalalabad, the eastern region of UNAMA organized a one-day conference, which was attended by wide-range of people from government, civil society, media, Provincial Council and United Nations agencies.
“People should be aware who are responsible and this report can provide recommendations to all parties involved in the conflict in order to prevent civilian casualties,” said Dr. Rafiullah Baidar, the Head of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in the eastern region.
He welcomed the report and termed the killing of civilians in armed conflicts a crime.
In his address to the conference, the Deputy Governor of Nangarhar Province, Muhammad Hanif Gardiwal welcomed UNAMA’s efforts towards the peace and reconciliation process and strengthening Afghan institutions.