Afghanistan Mid-Year Report 2012 - Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
Conflict continues to take a devastating toll on civilians despite decrease in civilian casualties during first six months of 2012 – UN
Kabul/Geneva, 8 August 2012 – In the first six months of 2012, conflict-related violence in Afghanistan continued to take a devastating toll on civilians, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today, releasing its 2012 Midyear Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.
Between 1 January and 30 June 2012, conflict-related violence resulted in 3,099 civilian casualties -- 1,145 civilians killed and 1,954 injured -- a 15 per cent decrease in overall civilian casualties compared with the same period in 2011 [when UNAMA documented 3,654 civilian casualties (1,510 killed and 2,144 injured).] Of the 3,099 civilians killed or wounded, 925 were women or children representing 30 per cent of all civilian casualties.
“The United Nations welcomes the reduction in civilian casualties, but we must remember that Afghan children, women and men continue to be killed and injured at alarmingly high levels.” said Nicholas Haysom, Deputy UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan. “The 3,099 civilian casualties documented in this report were ordinary Afghans struggling to go about their daily lives in the midst of an armed conflict.”
“I call on all parties to the conflict to increase their efforts to protect civilians from harm and to respect the sanctity of human life,” Haysom stated.
Anti-Government Elements were responsible for 80 per cent of civilian casualties, killing 882 civilians and injuring 1,593 others during the first six months of 2012, down 15 per cent from the first six months of 2011.
In the first half of this year, UNAMA documented 165 civilian deaths and 131 others injured from the operations of Pro-Government Forces –10 per cent of the total number of civilian casualties -- reflecting a 25 per cent reduction compared with the same period of 2011. A further 98 civilian deaths and 230 injured, or 10 per cent of the total casualties, could not be attributed to any party to the conflict.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) continued to cause the greatest number of civilian casualties. Between 1 January and 30 June 2012, IEDs alone accounted for 33 per cent of all civilian casualties – killing 327 civilians and injuring 689 others. When taking suicide and complex attacks which used IEDs into account, the overall use of IEDs by Anti-Government Elements caused 53 per cent of all civilian deaths and injuries documented in the report.