Afghanistan

UNAMA Head Deborah Lyons statement on civilian casualties (26 July 2021)

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UNAMA’s Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2021 Midyear Report to was released today. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, who is also head of UNAMA made the following statement:

“Today, UNAMA released its findings on the harm done to Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2021.

These findings are distressing. And reveal very high levels of harm being done to Afghan civilians.

The data shows a very disturbing trend, particularly since early May, of ever-increasing numbers of Afghan civilians being killed and injured due to the expanding conflict.

It does not have to be this way.

The ongoing pursuit of a military solution will only increase the suffering of the Afghan people. We all know this to be true.

The UN as a civilian and impartial organization will push for a permanent ceasefire and a negotiated settlement between Afghans.

But it is up the Taliban and Afghan leaders to acknowledge this suffering, to stop the grim and chilling path of this increasing conflict, with Afghans killing their own people.

I call on the Taliban and Afghan leaders
- intensify your efforts at the negotiating table,
- tackle the important substantive issues of peace,
- stop the Afghan against Afghan fighting
- protect the Afghan people and give them hope for a better future.

That must be your greatest obligation to your fellow citizens.

The UN will be here to promote the human rights of all Afghans, provide humanitarian assistance to those most in need and, most of all, to help Afghans find a way to peace”.

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