Afghanistan Protection of civilians in armed conflict Mid-year update: January 1 to June 30, 2021 – Afghanistan

Between January 1 and June 30, 2021, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded 5,183 civilian casualties (1,659 killed and 3,524 injured). The total number of civilians killed and injured increased by 47% compared to the first half of 2020, reversing the trend of the past four years of declining civilian casualties in the first six months of the year, with civilian casualties increasing again to reach the record levels seen in the first six months of 2014 to 2018.

Civilian casualties have increased for women, girls, boys and men. Of particular concern, UNAMA has documented a record number of girls and women killed and injured, as well as a record number of child victims. Compared to the first six months of 2020, the number of civilian children (girls) and adult women (women) killed and injured has almost doubled.

The number of civilian casualties of male children (boys) increased by 36 to 1. UNAMA’s targeted killings figures include both targeting of civilians and civilians accidentally affected by the targeting of other non-civilian individuals . See the glossary of UNAMA’s 2020 annual report on the protection of civilians for more details. 100, and adult male (male) civilian casualties increased by 35%.

In the first six months of 2021, and compared to the same period last year, UNAMA has documented a threefold increase in the number of civilian casualties resulting from the use of non-suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by anti-government elements. This is the highest number of civilian casualties caused by non-suicide IEDs in the first six months of the year since UNAMA began systematically documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2009. Civilian casualties from Ground engagements, attributed primarily to the Taliban and Afghan national security forces, also increased significantly. Assassinations targeted1 by anti-government elements continued at similarly high levels. Airstrikes by pro-government forces have caused an increase in civilian casualties, mostly attributed to the Afghan Air Force.

UNAMA is concerned about the increase in the number of civilian casualties since the announcement by the international military forces in April, and the start soon after, of their withdrawal from Afghanistan, after which the Taliban captured a significant number. district administrative centers.

Between May 1 and June 30, 2021, UNAMA recorded 2,392 civilian casualties, almost as many as has been documented in the previous four months. 2 The number of civilian casualties in May-June 2021 was the highest on record for these two months since UNAMA began systematic documentation in 2009. UNAMA further documented numerous cases of destruction of civilian property, which resulted often battles for the control of populated rural areas. and fighting on the outskirts of district and provincial centers.

UNAMA is also concerned about the growing number of reports of killings, ill-treatment, persecution and discrimination in communities affected by the current * “Others” includes the following: 92 civilian casualties (14 killed, 78 injured) as a result of suicide attacks; 40 civilian victims (29 killed, 11 injured) following kidnappings / kidnappings; 38 civilian casualties (six killed, 32 injured) as a result of threat / intimidation / harassment incidents; 26 civilian casualties (11 killed, 15 injured) due to escalating force protection incidents; eight civilians killed in search operations by pro-government forces; a civilian killed by punishment from the parallel Taliban judicial structure; a civilian injured in an incident of intentional damage to civilian property; and four civilian casualties (one killed and three injured) from other types of incidents. 2 Between January 1 and April 30, 2021, UNAMA recorded 2,791 civilian casualties. 3 From October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, UNAMA recorded 7,982 civilian casualties (2,553 killed and 5,429 injured) against 5,449 civilian casualties (2,030 killed and 3,419 injured) during the same period one year more early. the fights and their consequences. Especially in times of intensive conflict, all parties must respect human rights and human dignity and prevent such abuses and violations.

The continuing and growing impact of the fighting on civilians highlights the dismal failure of the parties to find ways to reduce the damage to civilians during peace negotiations. Since September 2020 – the start of peace negotiations in Afghanistan – UNAMA has recorded a 46% increase in civilian casualties compared to the same nine-month period a year earlier. 3 The search for a military solution will only increase the suffering of the Afghan people. Afghan leaders, with the support of the region and the international community, must heed and respond to the people’s calls for peace. For the Afghan people, all efforts must be made by the parties to step away from the battlefield and return to the negotiating table.