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Government, Taliban Accuse Each Other Of Civilian Causalities

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: July 20, 2019)

Both the Afghan government and the Taliban accuse each other of disobeying the Doha intra-Afghan summit’s resolution in terms of prevention of the civilian causalities. 

Ensuring the security of public service institutions including the religious centers, hospitals, civilian education centers, bazaars, water dikes, and workplaces across the country, and reducing the civilian casualties were the main articles of the resolution in the Doha intra-Afghan summit.

However, the Afghan government proclaims that the Taliban group was behind the bloody attack near to the Kabul University on Friday, saying they do not follow the resolution and continue hurting the civilians.

“They purposefully target the civilians and unfortunately hurts them strongly,” said Sediq Sediqi, the spokesperson to the President.

On the hand, the Taliban accuses the government of disobeying the Doha intra-Afghan summit resolution’ article regarding reducing the civilian causalities.

The group says that the airstrikes on the civilian-residing areas especially in Baghlan, Maidan Wardak, and Logar provinces indicated that the government is not committed to reducing the civilian causalities.  

“Anyone even if it is the government, the Taliban, a US, Pakistani or Iranian citizen who kills the Afghan people is the Afghan people murderer,” said Lalai Hamidzai, a former MP.

The beliefs are that both sides of the war have hurt the civilians and have not followed the war rules and limits.

“The civilian causalities are not compensable. We hope that the Afghan government makes strong decisions regarding the civilians’ security and the Taliban should also reconsider their position if they consider it as their religious and humanitarian responsibility,” said Merdad Nejrabi, an MP from Kapisa province.

“They are the anti-government insurgents that considerably target the civilians during the war and through the suicide attacks,” said Sayeed Azim Kebrzani, and MP from Herat province.

Recently, the findings of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) showed that the civilian causalities have increased as the result of the government’s airstrikes.

However, the government says that preventing civilian causalities is its priority.

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Herat residents chant from their roofs in support of security forces

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2021)

As battles raged across Herat city on Monday night, amid a barrage of attacks by the Taliban, thousands of residents stood on the roofs of their houses and shouted out words of encouragement to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who were battling the insurgent group.

After President Ashraf Ghani’s appeal to members of parliament on Monday to mobilize their people in support of the security forces, Herat residents took to the streets and climbed on their roofs chanting slogans including “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great).

On Tuesday, Ghani responded in a tweet by saying that with the chanting of “Allahu Akbar” by Herat residents, this “showed in a loud voice what this phrase truly represents.”

This mobilization coincided with the launch of an operation in Herat against the Taliban – an operation that clearly has the support of the public.

Ismail Khan, a former jihadi leader and leader of the Popular Resistance Front, which is leading the fight by public uprising forces against the Taliban in Herat city, called on the people, including women, to show their support of the security forces.

“It is the duty of every woman and the people of Herat to save themselves from this army of ignorance (the Taliban). The Taliban are more ignorant than in the past, and if they enter the city of Herat with this ignorance, they will torment the people in such a way that everyone will regret not having risen up against the Taliban.”

Herat officials meanwhile announced on Monday that a large-scale operation against the Taliban had been launched in several parts of Herat city.

Herat Governor Abdul Sabour Qani said Tuesday the western part of Herat has been cleared of Taliban and security forces are continuing operations in the southern part of the city.

According to sources, clashes continue in the south of the city, about two kilometers from the city center.

The governor of Herat said that with the arrival of reinforcements from Kabul, the Taliban’s advance on the city of Herat has been stopped and ground and air operations against the group’s fighters are continuing.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense reports that more than 40 Taliban insurgents have been killed in recent clashes in the city of Herat and that several parts of the city have been cleared of Taliban.

The ministry did not comment on whether security forces had sustained any casualties.

The Taliban have not yet commented on the group’s casualties in clashes with government forces.

Meanwhile, a widespread social media campaign has been launched in Afghanistan calling on Kabul residents in the capital to also climb onto their roofs and chant words of encouragement to the security forces. Social media posts indicate the start of this is scheduled for 9pm Tuesday.

Fawad Aman, a defense ministry spokesman, even took to Twitter to announce the plan. He said: “Tonight in Kabul; Everyone will chant “God is Great” in support of the Afghan Security Forces”

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Khalilzad says a Taliban ruled Afghanistan will become a pariah state

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2021)

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Monday that if the Taliban take over the country by force, they will not win international recognition and “they will become a pariah state.”

Speaking to VOA, Khalilzad said the United States remains committed to promoting a political settlement between warring Afghans, stressing that neither side to the conflict can win militarily.

Asked whether the US has a moral and political responsibility to ensure that Afghanistan does not slide into another civil war, after U.S. military departure, as happened following the Soviet exit in 1989, Khalilzad said “it is a point that we have kept in mind that what happened in the 90s should not be repeated and that working with the Afghans we did something big, a huge sacrifice on the part of the Afghans with our support to get the Soviets out, and then we abandon Afghanistan, and a terrible war took place and it produced challenges particularly in 9/11.

“So, we do not want to repeat that mistake,” he said adding “we have an agreement with the Taliban in principle to depart. But we engaged the Taliban as part of a strategy, a plan to have safe withdrawal of U.S. forces.”

He also said the start of the peace process was part of this strategy.

According to him, the US-Taliban agreement, signed in Doha in February last year, provided the opportunity for Afghans to sit across the table from each other, “a historic development”, to reach an agreement to agree on a formula that would have broad support in Afghanistan and international support as well.

“Unfortunately, the two sides have not taken advantage of that opportunity as quickly as we would have liked, as the Afghan people would have liked,” he said.

He reiterated that there is no military solution to the war and that there must be a “political solution, a political agreement for a lasting peace.”

Khalilzad meanwhile stated that the Afghan government “also has had challenges or difficulties in terms of agreeing to or embracing the idea of a new Islamic government and the Taliban have used force to see if it could coerce the government into agreeing to a formula for a new Islamic government, a new constitution as they see it as well.”

He said in the US’s opinion, the Afghan government cannot get rid of the Taliban, “and the Taliban cannot conquer Afghanistan and have a government that has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Afghans and international support.”

He said while the Taliban tells the US they know there is no military solution, “maybe some Taliban think there is a military solution to the conflict.”

Khalilzad said “the wise thing is for both sides to engage seriously and quickly, urgently to respond to the wishes of the people of Afghanistan for a political agreement.”

He pointed out that history has shown, over the past 45 to 50 years, that attempts by one party to impose its will on the people only leads to war.

“I hope that the leaders of Afghanistan have learned that lesson and that they need to agree to a formula that has broad support, accepts that all Afghans have legitimate rights, that those rights have to be respected and the people have to have a say ultimately in how they are governed.”

ON the gains the Taliban has made in the country in terms of seizing territory, Khalilzad said the Afghan security forces “are numerically far superior than the Taliban. They have over three hundred thousand troops, it has an Air Force and it has special forces. It has heavy equipment and both proper leadership, political and military and proper military strategy and plan and execution.”

However he added “the government forces should have done a lot better than they are doing.”

Khalilzad, who has worked tirelessly to bring the two warring sides together over the past three years, told VOA that he is “concerned very much by the lack of progress. I know that the gap has been large, continues to be a big gap between the two sides, but they need to put the leader or the interests of the Country first, rather than their own interest or their factional interest.”

“There cannot be peace without a compromise, without give and take, without respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans men and women and the Afghans having a say, ultimately the people and in terms of what happens to them.”

He said the question now is “will these leaders rise to the occasion and put country first or will they go down in history as people who put their own interests or the interests of their faction first”.

In conclusion, Khalilzad touched on Pakistan and its relations with the Taliban.

He said: “Pakistan has a special role and responsibility, given also that many Taliban leaders are in Pakistan, located there, to do what it can to encourage peace and a political settlement as soon as possible, for it will be judged internationally also as to whether it has done all that it can or it could to promote a political settlement.

He said peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interests and that many Pakistan leaders have acknowledged this.

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Intense fighting a serious challenge for patients, MSF staff in Helmand

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 3, 2021)

Médecins Sans Frontières reported Tuesday that while fighting has been intense since May in Helmand province, clashes between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban have intensified in recent weeks and spread to more urban areas such as the provincial capital of Lashkargah city.

“There has been relentless gunfire, airstrikes and mortars in densely populated areas. Houses are being bombed, and many people are suffering severe injuries,” says Sarah Leahy, coordinator of the MSF Helmand project.

“Fighting within the city makes it harder for us to respond; our staff are part of the community and they, like many people, are afraid to leave their homes. It’s just far too dangerous and life is at a standstill,” says Leahy.

“Some of our colleagues are staying overnight in the hospital as it’s safer, but also so they can keep on treating patients. The situation has been dire for months but now it is even worse.”

Despite the challenges, the MSF-supported Boost hospital remains operational and has seen a marked increase in trauma needs over the past week.

“In just one day we performed 10 surgeries on people injured by violence, which is unheard of for us as we are not Lashkargah’s main provider of trauma care,” says Leahy. “Before last week we were operating on average on two war-wounded people per day.”

The main trauma centre in the city is run by another organisation, and is also under immense pressure; the people they cannot admit are sent to MSF for care, the statement read.

Between 29 and 31 July alone, MSF treated 70 war-wounded patients. In total from 3 May until 31 July, we have treated 482 war-wounded people, nearly all (92 per cent) for injuries caused by shells and bullets, and around a quarter (26 per cent) aged under 18. The patients seen by MSF are just a fraction of the total number injured by the violence, the organization reported.

MSF also said the conflict is stopping people from seeking medical attention when ill.

“The conflict leads people to think 10 times about whether they really want to make the journey. They delay until they can’t wait anymore, when their relatives haven’t opened their eyes for two or three days, have shallow breathing and are unresponsive. From a medical perspective, that’s almost too late.”

Even amongst MSF staff, the impact of the fighting is clearly visible. “Healthcare staff are exhausted. The work itself, seeing all these patients, is hugely difficult. And then on top of that, people have to deal a lot with outside pressures and worries,” says an MSF doctor.

Our teams continue to provide much-needed healthcare in Boost hospital, while continuing to run projects in four other locations around the country; Herat, Kandahar, Khost and Kunduz.

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