The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in a new report said that 2019, like previous years, once again was a deadly year for Afghan civilians despite ongoing peace efforts to end the 18-year-old war.
The report indicates that 86,823 civilians, including women and children, were harmed by conflict between 2009-2019 (28,979 killed, and 57,844 injured).
"The high number of civilian causalities indicate all sides’ failure to comply with international humanitarian law," the report said.
In 2019, fewer civilians were harmed by conflict compared to 2018, the report says.
In 2018 there was a total of 11,611 civilian casualties, and during the same period in 2019 there were 10,772 civilian casualties.
The report says that the majority of civilian casualties have occurred in the southwestern zone, harming 3,453 victims, which is 32 percent of all civilian casualties in 2019.
"The Taliban is responsible for 71% of all civilian casualties in 2019," the report says, adding that Daesh is responsible for five percent, while, Afghan and international forces are responsible for 14% of civilian casualties.
The perpetrators for nine percent of civilian casualties is unknown, according to the report.
But part of this report is in conflict with a recent report by the United Nations. In the UN report released last October, it was stated that civilian casualties in airstrikes increased by 28 percent in the first nine months of 2019 but the AIHRC report says it was 21 percent.
“All the warring sides are asked not to harm civilians. Killing and harming civilians deliberately and systematically is a war crime based on international and humanitarian laws,” the deputy head of AIHRC, Naeem Nazari, said at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday.
“The Taliban is the main reason behind civilian casualties,” Interior Affairs Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said. “The Afghan defense and security forces have targeted most of the perpetrators of such attacks and have eliminated them.”
Some war victims’ families in Kabul said that they want a durable peace to be established in the country.
“If there was peace, if there was security, why this would have happened,” said Gul Rahman, the father of a child who lost one of his legs in a mortar attack.