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The People's Peace Movement has attracted international attention in the past year with its peace marches across Afghanistan. (file photo)

‘Violence Reduction’ Must Mean ‘No Civ. Casualties’: Amnesty International

“In a conflict marked by attacks on civilians, the term ‘violence reduction’ is an absurdity.”

Amnesty International on Friday, in a message aimed at the US and the Taliban, stated that any potential agreement on the reduction in violence must include a commitment by both sides to abide by the laws of war and end all attacks on civilians.
 
“The USA and the Afghan Taliban’s negotiations over a reduction in violence must include a commitment by both sides to abide by the laws of war and end all attacks on civilians,” the watchdog said on Friday as senior negotiators from the US and the Taliban work towards signing a peace deal in Doha.

The statement comes as the Afghan government has called on the Taliban insurgents to agree to a nationwide ceasefire– not a reduction in violence– before signing any peace agreement and before planned intra-Afghan talks.
 
The Taliban have constantly refused to accept the demand for a ceasefire.
 

“In a conflict marked by attacks on civilians, the term ‘violence reduction’ is an absurdity. There can be no acceptable level of violence. The USA and the Afghan Taliban must commit to abide by the laws of war and end all attacks on Afghan civilians,” said Omar Waraich, Deputy South Asia Director at Amnesty International.

On January 3, the Afghan Ministry of Interior released a report on the toll of the conflict on civilians in the country, claiming that 2,219 civilians were killed and another 5,170 were wounded in 2019.

In September  2019, the figures released by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health showed that conflict-related violence in the past 12 months has left more than 3,300 civilians dead and over 14,600 others wounded.

The time period measured is from September 16, 2018, to September 10,  2019.
 
According to the report, August, September and October  2019 were the most deadly months for the Afghan civilians during last year.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in an earlier report said that over 8,000 Afghan civilians were killed and wounded in the first three quarters of  2019.

Source: TOLO NEWS
 

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