In the first quarter of 2019, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) found out that from 1 January to 31 March 2019 it documented 1,773 civilian casualties (581 deaths and 1,192 injured), including 582 child casualties (150 deaths and 432 injured). This represents a 23 per cent decrease in overall civilian casualties as compared to the same period last year and is the lowest for a first quarter since 2013.
The overall reduction of civilian casualties was driven by a decrease in civilian casualties by suicide improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, as per UNAMA.
UNAMA noted that the harsh winter conditions during the first three months of the year also may have contributed to this declining figure of civilian casualties.
“It is unclear whether the decrease in civilian casualties was influenced by any measures taken by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians, or by the ongoing talks between parties to the conflict”, pointed the report by UNAMA.
However, the report still expressed the body’s concern for the continued targeting of civilians and increase in civilian casualties from the use of non-suicide IEDs by Anti-Government Elements, as well as significant increases in civilian casualties from aerial and search operations.
Another finding of the report was that civilian deaths attributed to Pro-Government Forces surpassed those attributed to Anti-Government Elements during the first quarter of 2019.