Afghanistan tops list for number of child casualties since 2005
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Friday that Afghanistan has witnessed the highest number of child casualties since 2005.
In a statement issued on Friday, UNICEF stated that more than 28,500 children have been killed in conflicts since 2005 in Afghanistan.
UNICEF said that Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and northern Ethiopia, are the places where “thousands of children paid a devastating price as armed conflict, inter-communal violence, and insecurity continued.”
According to the statement, Afghanistan has recorded 27 percent of all verified child casualties globally.
“Year after year, parties to conflict continue to demonstrate a dreadful disregard for the rights and wellbeing of children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“Children are suffering, and children are dying because of this callousness. Every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm,” Fore added.
UNICEF stated that the Middle East and North Africa region has the highest number of verified attacks on schools and hospitals since 2005.
“Twenty-two such attacks were verified in the first six months of 2021,” read the statement.
According to UNICEF, 10,000 children have been killed or maimed in Yemen since fighting escalated in March 2015, the equivalent of four children every day.
“The use of explosive weapons, particularly in populated areas, is a persistent and growing threat to children and their families; in 2020, explosive weapons and explosive remnants of war were responsible for nearly 50 percent of all child casualties, resulting in more than 3,900 children killed and maimed,” the statement read.
UNICEF noted that 37 percent of abductions verified by the UN in 2020 have led to the recruitment and use of children in war.
“Verified abductions were highest in Somalia, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the countries of the Lake Chad Basin: Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger.”
“Verified instances of sexual violence were highest in the DRC, Somalia and the Central African Republic,” the statement said.
Iran holds ‘good negotiations’ with IEA over water rights
Iran’s foreign minister has said that Tehran had “good negotiations” with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) over the issue of water rights.
“We have the water rights issue on the agenda, and the [Iranian] president has assigned Hassan Kazemi Qomi [Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan] to follow up on the matter, with the view that the issues between the two countries should go in the direct direction and be resolved,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian told Iranian state media.
On the recent border clash, he said that the clash did not have any agenda, and the situation in Afghanistan is understandable for Iran.
Tensions between Iran and IEA escalated after Tehran accused Kabul of restricting the flow of water to Iran.
The tensions began last month after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned the IEA needs to “honor” Iran’s rights over the Helmand River.
IEA officials have stressed that they are committed to the 1973 water treaty between Iran and Afghanistan, but there is a lack of water due to drought.
EU-Central Asia summit calls for inclusive government in Afghanistan
Leaders of Central Asian countries and the EU chief met in Kyrgyzstan on Friday, where they discussed Afghanistan among other issues.
The meeting in Cholpon Ata was attended by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and a delegation from Turkmenistan.
On Afghanistan, the participants discussed common concerns over the deteriorating situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to see the country develop into a secure, peaceful, stable, prosperous country, according to a joint communique.
The leaders also recognised the efforts of the international community to assist the people of Afghanistan in a principled manner and in accordance with international law and universally recognized norms and principles, despite difficult circumstances.
Participants also called on the international community to step up humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and noted the key role of the UN in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in a principled manner.
They underlined the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government and the importance of promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans citizens, in particular women, girls and ethnic groups.
IEA special forces kill key Daesh commander in eastern Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate’s special forces in an operation on Wednesday killed a top Daesh commander along with his accomplice in eastern Nangarhar province, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.
This Daesh commander’s name was reportedly “Turab”.
The operation was conducted on Wednesday evening in Wuch Tangi village of Shiwa district in eastern Nangarhar province, according to the provincial officials reported by Bakhtar news agency.
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