Afghanistan: Ghazni Armed Clash, Flash Update No. 1 (14 November 2018)
Heavy fighting in Malistan and Jaghuri has resulted in population displacement to multiple locations within Ghazni province and beyond. In particular, conflict has escalated since 10 November, with intensified ground operations and airstrikes triggering displacement into Bamyan and Maidan-Wardak provinces and towards Kabul. The situation within the affected districts is chaotic, with families moving repeatedly in search of safety.
While numbers cannot be determined accurately, civilian casualties are reported. Local sources indicate that at least 15 civilians were killed in Malistan on 11 November. The total number of civilian casualties is likely to be higher.
Anecdotal reports indicate violations of International Humanitarian Law, with private houses burnt and civilian vehicles stolen or confiscated. Roads connecting Jaghuri and Malistan to Ghazni city have reportedly been blocked, preventing safe passage for civilians attempting to leave the area, and leaving people in siege-like conditions with no access to health facilities and limited availability food, fuel, and medicine.
Supply routes to Jaghori and Malistan remain closed, while telecommunications networks are interrupted. Availability of food and medicines in local markets is affected. Basic commodity prices have increased, and fuel is in short supply. Families abandoning their homes are exposed to harsh winter conditions and in need of shelter and warmth.
In Ghazni City, ANDMA and DoRR registered 1000 internally displaced families on 11 and 12 November. The IDPs are living in schools, mosques and homes of local families. In Bamyan Center, DoRR reports that 400 displaced families have arrived. There are reportedly up to 4000 families headed towards Ghazni City and Kabul.
In Jaghori and Malistan no response has been carried out, with partners unable to access the affected population due to the fighting. In Ghazni City, the Provincial Disaster Management Committee (PDMC) met on 12 November and NGOs DACAAR and DRC are leading the assessment to identify needs of the displaced population. ANDMA plans to provide food items. In Bamyan Center the PDMC also met on 12 November. ANDMA/UNICEF and ARCS have started to provide non-food items, including warm clothing, to displaced families. ACF is carrying out an assessment that will be followed with cash assistance. ANDMA plans to provide food items.
All parties to the conflict should respect International Humanitarian Law, protecting the civilian population and facilitating the provision of assistance by neutral and impartial humanitarian agencies. This includes ensuring safe passage for civilians attempting to leave conflict affected areas. Civilian objects, including schools and health facilities, must be not be used for military purposes.