Violence towards Afghan civilians surges since peace talks started | Battle Information

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US-brokered negotiations started in September however progress has since slowed and violence has risen sharply.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have escalated sharply since peace talks between the federal government and the Taliban armed group started final 12 months, the United Nations says in a report calling for a ceasefire as negotiators met for the primary time after weeks of inaction.

Afghan civilian casualties totalled 8,820 in 2020, based on the UN mission to Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) annual report launched on Tuesday, a determine 15 % decrease than 2019, however the authors famous with alarm a pointy uptick and traditionally excessive civilian casualties within the closing three months of the 12 months – because the talks started.

The US-brokered peace talks – set out in an settlement between the Taliban and the US signed in February final 12 months – started in September, however progress has since slowed and violence risen as uncertainty hovers over whether or not worldwide forces will likely be pulled out by Could as initially deliberate.

Final 12 months “may have been the 12 months of peace in Afghanistan. As a substitute, hundreds of Afghan civilians perished”, stated Deborah Lyons, head of UNAMA, reiterating requires a ceasefire which have been repeatedly rejected by the Taliban.

“Events refusing to think about a ceasefire should recognise the devastating penalties,” stated Lyons.

The Taliban on Tuesday responded critically to the report, saying: “The issues, exact data and correct particulars that had been shared by us haven’t been taken under consideration.”

The UN report stated for the primary time since data started, deaths and accidents escalated within the closing three months of the 12 months from the earlier three months.

Casualties for the fourth quarter had been up 45 % in contrast with the identical interval in 2019.

Most had been ascribed to non-government actors, predominately the Taliban, and greater than one-fifth was attributed to authorities forces.

A authorities spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Each side stated on Twitter their chief negotiators met in Doha, Qatar, the venue for peace talks, on Monday night, including that groups would proceed work on an agenda.

After a month-long break over the brand new 12 months interval, negotiators returned to Doha briefly earlier than many senior members of the Taliban left to carry conferences in Russia and Iran.

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