By Mustafa Kazemi
The NATO Forces in Afghanistan blamed the Taliban insurgent group for over 90% of civilian casualties in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
A statement from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Sunday said that the ISAF “welcomes the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) recent Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict report”, which said that Taliban have caused nearly 90 percent of all civilian casualties.
“We take our commitment to protecting the Afghan people seriously. Working side-by-side with our Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) partners, we have taken a number of positive steps to reduce the number of civi lian casualties in this country and our efforts are having a real result.” An ISAF Spokeswoman Erin Stattel said.
“Unfortunately, the Taliban’s demonstrated lack of regard for human life has resulted in nearly 90 percent of all civilian casualties so far this year. By continuing the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive device attacks despite the huge toll on Afghan men, women and children, the Taliban proves it does not take their pledge to protect innocent civilians seriously.”
ISAF further says that in their “untiring commitment” to reduce civilian casualties, “they have identified a number of areas where they can improve their processes and systems”, as well as work more closely with “UNAMA, the UN Mine Action Service and the Mine Action Coordination Centre Afghanistan to reach our common goal of protecting civilians from the dangers of war.” The spokeswoman added in the statement.
ISAF Spokeswoman Stattel further added in the statement that “protecting innocent Afghan civilians is the cornerstone of ISAF’s mission.”
“It is a sacred trust and responsibility that the Coalition forces take very seriously. Our deeds and the results of our long-term civilian casualty mitigation efforts demonstrate our resolve. While we have more to do, we are committed to the work ahead and the success of the combined effort to protect the Afghan people.”
The Taliban insurgent group has likewise blamed the NATO & Afghan Security Forces in the past for being responsible for a major percent of civilian casualties.
Taliban have previously rejected reports of the UNAMA on the same matter as well.