Spike in civilian casualties in Afghanistan post peace talks since 2020: UN

(Photo for representation: Pixabay)

Civilian casualties were 8,820 in 2020, according to the United Nations’ mission to Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) annual report.

This was 15% lower than the preceding year. Nonetheless, the report’s authors noted with alarm a sharp uptick and historically high civilian casualties at the last three weeks of 2020 when peace talks began.

U.S.-brokered peace talks began in September, but progress has since slowed, and violence has risen with doubt over whether global forces will pull out troops by May as initially planned.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan escalated sharply after peace talks began last year, the United Nations said in a report published on Tuesday, calling for a ceasefire as negotiators met for the first time after weeks of inaction.

The report stated that for the first time since records began, deaths and injuries had escalated at the last three months of the year by the past three months. Casualties for the fourth quarter were up 45 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

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