Bericht der United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 22.1.2020 (engl. Originalfassung)
The armed conflict in Afghanistan contin-ued to take a heavy toll on the civilian population in 2019 with UNAMA recording over 10,000 civilian casualties for the sixth year in a row. Since UNAMA began systematic documentation in 2009, it has documented more than 100,000 civilian casualties, with more than 35,000 killed and 65,000 injured. The impact of the conflict, however, goes well beyond the numbers, taking into account the extensive and durable harm caused to the physical, mental, social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities.
UNAMA documented 10,392 civilian casualties (3,403 killed and 6,989 injured) as a result of the armed conflict, representing a five per cent decrease as compared to 2018 and the lowest overall level of civilian casualties since 2013. This reduction was driven by decrease in civilian casualties caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP). Civilian casualties caused by the other parties increased, particularly by the Taliban and by the international military forces.
There were significant fluctuations in violence throughout the year, coinciding with gains and setbacks made during negotiations between the Taliban and the United States of America in Doha. The first half of the year was characterized by an intense campaign of airstrikes by international military forces and search operations by Afghan forces, particularly by the National Directorate of Security Special Forces. These operations contributed to a higher number of civilian deaths attributed to Pro-Government Forces than Anti-Government Elements at the midyear point, a trend that UNAMA had not documented before 2019.13 This was followed by a particularly violent third quarter, which showed the highest number of civilian casualties of any quarter since UNAMA began systematic documentation in 2009. This was mainly due to a spike in civilian casualties from suicide and non-suicide IED attacks by Anti-Government Elements, primarily the Taliban, as well as election-related violence. Despite low levels of civilian casualties in the fourth quarter as compared to the same time period in 2018, the year ended with record high levels of civilian casualties from airstrikes and search operations in a single year and the highest number of civilian casualties from non-suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) since 2015.
Anti-Government Elements continued to cause the majority (62 per cent) of civilian casualties in 2019. Their use of IEDs in both suicide and non-suicide attacks continued at extreme levels in 2019; combined, they remained the leading cause of civilian casualties, accounting for 42 per cent of the overall total. UNAMA documented 4,336 civilian casualties (885 killed and 3,451 injured) resulting from suicide and non-suicide IED attacks combined, representing a six per cent decrease from 2018. However, civilian casualties attributed specifically to the Taliban from combined IED tactics reached the highest levels UNAMA had ever recorded in a single year.
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