KABUL, Afghanistan (July 31, 2013) – The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) welcomes the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) recent Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict report. We take our commitment to protecting the Afghan people seriously. Working side-by-side with our Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) partners, we have taken a number of positive steps to reduce the number of civilian casualties in this country and our efforts are having a real result.
Unfortunately, the Taliban’s demonstrated lack of regard for human life has resulted in nearly 90 percent of all civilian casualties so far this year. By continuing the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive device attacks despite the huge toll on Afghan men, women and children, the Taliban proves it does not take their pledge to protect innocent civilians seriously.
In our untiring commitment to reduce civilian casualties, we have identified a number of areas where we can improve our processes and systems, as well as work more closely with UNAMA, the UN Mine Action Service and the Mine Action Coordination Centre Afghanistan to reach our common goal of protecting civilians from the dangers of war.
Protecting innocent Afghan civilians is the cornerstone of ISAF’s mission. It is a sacred trust and responsibility that the Coalition forces take very seriously. Our deeds and the results of our long-term civilian casualty mitigation efforts demonstrate our resolve. While we have more to do, we are committed to the work ahead and the success of the combined effort to protect the Afghan people.