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UN: Afghanistan civilian casualties hit record high
UN: Afghanistan civilian casualties hit record high

[JURIST] The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) [official website] on Sunday reported [press relase] that civilian casualties in Afghanistan had reached a record high 11,000 in 2015. The report [text] states that the civilian casualty rate has risen in Afghanistan once again. The report further notes that despite a reduction of over 10 percent in civilian causalities caused by the government, there was an increase in anti-government attacks around populated areas. UNAMA detailed a list of actions to be taken by anti-government elements, the government of Afghanistan, and International Military Forces to mitigate further casualties. UNAMA has been documenting the civilian casualty rate in Afghanistan since 2009.

In November the US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] and Pentagon officials completed their investigation [JURIST report] into the October 3 bombing of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) [advocacy website] hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and announced [statement] that it was an “avoidable accident caused primarily by human error.” In October MSF called for an independent investigation [JURIST report] into the attack by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. Also in October the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an investigation [JURIST report] into the Kunduz hospital attack and for the results of an investigation to be made public. Several days prior to the hospital attack, the UN rights leader also requested that all parties in the Taliban attack in Kunduz attempt to keep civilians out of harm [JURIST report]. In August the UN said that a new report shows a significant increase in the number of women and children being hurt or killed [JURIST report] in Afghanistan’s war against the Taliban and other insurgents. In June the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mark Bowden, stated that the hostilities in Afghanistan are leading to the killing and wounding of thousands [JURIST report] and the forced relocation of families into neighboring countries.