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Über 2400 Zivilisten starben

Afghanische Menschenrechtsorganisation zieht düstere Bilanz für vergangenes Jahr *

In Afghanistan sind im vergangenen Jahr mehr als 2400 Zivilisten getötet worden. Das sind so viele wie noch nie seit Kriegsbeginn 2001.

Menschenrechtler der Nichtregierungsorganisation Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) mit Sitz in der afghanischen Hauptstadt Kabul haben in einem am Dienstag veröffentlichten Bericht auf die bedrohliche Lage von afghanischen Zivilisten durch Rebellen und Armeeangehörige nach dem Ende des Taliban-Regimes verwiesen.

Nach Angaben von ARM sind im vorigen Jahr insgesamt 2421 Zivilisten getötet und 3270 verletzt worden. »Das bedeutet, dass es in Afghanistan 2010 jeden Tag sechs bis sieben neue Tote bzw. acht bis neun neue Verletzte unter den Zivilisten gegeben hat«, heißt es in dem Bericht.

Der von den Menschenrechtlern in mehr als 20 Provinzen des Landes am Hindukusch durchgeführten Studie zufolge sind für die Toten unter der Zivilbevölkerung in 63 Prozent der Fälle bewaffnete Oppositionsgruppen, in 21 Prozent der Fälle Angehörige der US- und ISAF-Truppen, in zwölf Prozent Mitglieder der afghanischen Sicherheitskräfte, der afghanischen Armee und der regierungstreuen Grenztruppen verantwortlich. Die restlichen vier Prozent – Tod von Zivilisten unter ungeklärten Umständen – können den Menschenrechtlern zufolge auf dem Gewissen aller Teilnehmer der bewaffneten Konflikte lasten.

Die ARM-Mitarbeiter werfen den Befehlshabern von NATO und US-Armee vor, in ihren Berichten jeden getöteten Zivilbürger Afghanistans als »mutmaßlichen Rebellen« bezeichnet zu haben. Um einen festen und dauerhaften Frieden in Afghanistan zu erreichen, müssen den Menschenrechtlern zufolge Kriegshandlungen endlich durch politische Bemühungen ersetzt werden. Die politische Elite im heutigen Afghanistan ist jedoch der ARM-Studie zufolge durch und durch korrumpiert und nicht imstande, den Frieden für die afghanische Bevölkerung zu sichern.

* Aus: Neues Deutschland, 2. Februar 2011

Blutiger "Fortschritt"

Von Olaf Standke **

Enorme Fortschritte« will der US-amerikanische General David Petraeus in den vergangenen Monaten am Hindukusch ausgemacht haben. Was mag der Befehlshaber der internationalen Truppen in Afghanistan damit meinen? Die Tatsache, dass im Jahr 2010 über 2400 Zivilisten getötet wurden, gleich 20 Prozent mehr als im Vorjahr und damit so viele wie noch nie seit Beginn des Krieges? Hinzu kommen 3270 verwundete Zivilisten, so die deprimierende Statistik der afghanischen Bürgerrechtsorganisation ARM. Insgesamt starben laut Recherchen des unabhängigen Internetdienstes icasualties.org im vergangenen Jahr über 10 000 Menschen durch Anschläge und Kämpfe. Und 2010 war auch das bisher verlustreichste Jahr für die ISAF. 711 Soldaten, davon knapp 500 aus den USA, stehen auf der Liste der Gefallenen und Verunglückten. 2008 waren es noch rund 300.

Obwohl nach den von USA-Präsident Barack Obama befohlenen Truppenverstärkungen inzwischen etwa 150 000 ausländische Militärs in Afghanistan stationiert sind, wird das Leben für die afghanische Bevölkerung – und um die soll es ja gehen – nicht sicherer, wie die nackten Zahlen zeigen. Trotzdem können sich USA, NATO und auch die Bundesregierung nicht zu einem Waffenstillstand und schnellstmöglichen Truppenabzug entschließen. Alles spricht vielmehr für eine weitere Intensivierung der Kampfhandlungen – und noch mehr zivile Opfer.

** Aus: Neues Deutschland, 2. Februar 2011 (Kommentar)

Auszug aus dem Bericht ***

“A beardy young Pashtun man with a black turban could be easily described as “an insurgent” by US/NATO forces and his killing could be justified as a legitimate act of war. However, in the local Afghan context, the same person – and indeed thousands like him – can be a civilian person and under no laws his deliberate killing can be justified.”
(ARM Annual Report, February 2011, p. 12)


Over nine years after the internationally-celebrated demise of the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan, civilian Afghans increasingly suffer from the armed violence and rights violations committed by various internal and external armed actors. More ordinary Afghans were killed and injured in 2010 than a year before. And while US officials dubbed Afghanistan as their longest foreign war, Afghans suffered it for 32 years relentlessly.

Almost everything related to the war surged in 2010: the combined numbers of Afghan and foreign forces surpassed 350,000; security incidents mounted to over 100 per week; more fighters from all warring side were killed; and the number of civilian people killed, wounded and displaced hit record levels.

Collecting information about every security incident and verifying the often conflicting reports about their impacts on civilian people were extremely difficult and risky. The war was as heatedly fought through propaganda and misinformation as it was in the battlefields thus making independent and impartial war reporting tricky and complex.

Despite all the challenges, we spared no efforts in gathering genuine information, facts and figures about the impacts of war on civilian communities. Our resources were limited and we lacked the luxury of strategic/political support from one or another side of the conflict because we stood by our professional integrity. We, however, managed to use our indigenous knowledge and delved into a wealth of local information available in the conflict-affected villages in order to seek more reliable facts about the war.

From 1 January to 31 December 2010, at least 2,421 civilian Afghans were killed and over 3,270 were injured in conflict-related security incidents across Afghanistan. This means everyday 6-7 noncombatants were killed and 8-9 were wounded in the war.

ARM does not claim that these numbers – although collected and verified to the best of our efforts – are comprehensive and perfect. Actual numbers of the civilian victims of war in 2010 could be higher than what we gathered and present in this report.

Unsurprisingly, about 63 percent of the reported civilian deaths and 70 percent of the injuries were attributed to the Armed Opposition Groups (AOGs) (Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and the Haqqani Group); 21 percent of deaths (512 individuals) and 22 percent of injuries (655) were attributed to US/NATO forces; and 12 percent of deaths (278 individuals) and 7 percent (239) injuries were caused by pro-government Afghan troops and their allied local militia forces.

In addition to civilian casualties, hundreds of thousands of people were affected in various ways by the intensified armed violence in Afghanistan in 2010. Tens of thousands of people were forced out of their homes or deprived of healthcare and education services and livelihood opportunities due to the continuation of war in their home areas.

In November 2010, ARM was the first organization to voice concerns about the destruction of hundreds of houses, pomegranate trees and orchards in several districts in Kandahar Province by US-led forces as part of their counterinsurgency operations. In January 2011, an Afghan Government delegation reported the damage costs at over US$100 million. In compensation, US/NATO forces have doled out less than $2 million.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are widely considered as the most lethal tools which killed over 690 civilians in 2010. However, as you will read in this report, there is virtually no information about the use of cluster munitions by US/NATO forces. Despite Afghanistan’s accession to the international Anti-Cluster Bomb Treaty in 2008, the US military has allegedly maintained stockpiles of cluster munitions in Afghanistan.

A second key issue highlighted in this report is the emergence of the irregular armed groups in parts of Afghanistan which are backed by the Afghan Government and its foreign allies. These groups have been deplored as criminal and predatory by many Afghans and have already been accused of severe human rights violations such as child recruitment and sexual abuse.


Afghan Government

a. Stop creating, hiring and using irregular armed groups and militias in insecure districts, villages and provinces

b. Improve and enhance vetting procedures for police and army recruitments and prioritize the formation of competent, accountable and professional national security forces

c. Ensure and strengthen accountability in the police, army and other security forces

d. Ensure, improve and consolidate the rule of law and justice in all parts of the country and to all Afghan citizens equally

e. Immediately end the criminal impunity of powerful militia commanders, warlords and other influential individuals

f. Seek innovative ways to reduce the harms and damages of improvised explosives on civilian communities

g. Seek and provide appropriate financial compensation and ethical sympathy for the civilian victims of US/NATO and pro-government forces’ military and counterinsurgency operations

h. Introduce and implement other measures to ensure better protection and safety for civilian people in the conflict-affected areas

i. Regulate properly and hold accountable international security firms and seek and implement ways which ensure transparency in their activities

NATO/US Forces

a. Stop targeting civilian people on mere accusation of being “suspected insurgents”

b. Ensure greater safety and security for civilian communities in counterinsurgency and in the so-called “counterterrorism” operations

c. Provide transparency about the use of cluster munitions (locations and potential risks to noncombatants)

d. Stop hiring, using and promoting irregular armed groups and militias for short-term counterinsurgency and counterterrorism projects and direct more sources to the development of constitutional security institutions

e. Bring more restrictions and precision procedures in the aerial strikes

f. Stop the aggressive night rights on civilian houses and reduce risks in such attacks to civilian objects

g. Seek and adopt ways to end civilian casualties in the “escalation of force” incidents

h. Provide better and stronger compensations to civilian victims of your military activities


a. Immediately stop the indiscriminate and widespread use of improvised bombs and munitions in civilian areas

b. Immediately stop suicide attacks in densely populated, civilian areas

c. Immediately halt assassinating civilian people, including civilian government employees

d. Stop harassing and intimidating aid workers, students, teachers and other non-combatants

e. Stop using civilian people and objects as human shield in military operations

f. Stop summarily executing people on charges of espionage and/or support to government and its foreign allies

g. Do not attack schools, health centers and other civilian facilities and aid convoys

h. Allow unconditional access to people and communities for humanitarian, development and other civilian purposes

*** Source: ARM Annual Report: Civilian Casualties of War. January-December 2010, Kabul, Afghanistan, February 2011; www.arm.org.af/

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