Monday, December 2, 2013

UN Report: Attacks against Aid Workers in Afghanistan escalate as Obama continues to hand over security to Afghan forces

According to a UN report released over the weekend, there were 237 attacks on Afghanistan’s aid workers from January through November of 2013, which left 36 people dead, 46 wounded, 72 abducted and 24 detained. Last year, from January through December, there were 175 attacks on Afghanistan’s aid workers, which left 11 people dead, 26 wounded and 44 detained or abducted.

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, Mark Bowden, said that the increase in attacks on Afghanistan's aid workers was a result of the Obama administration handing over the country's security to the Afghan security forces

"I am extremely concerned with this trend at a time when the country is in the midst of a difficult transition that may lead to increased humanitarian needs," Mr. Bowden said in a statement. “The nature of the fighting has changed. You have more disseminated ground-level fighting than you’ve had before, and this has come as a result of a change of tactics by handing over the fighting to the Afghan national security forces. So civilian casualties have increased dramatically this year, so obviously you’re seeing more widespread displacement of people as well.”

According to a mid-year report released by the UN in July, Civilian casualties in the first six months of 2013 increased 23% compared to the same period in 2012.

A UN official said at the time that, “The growing loss of life and injuries to Afghan women and children in 2013 is particularly disturbing. Deaths and injuries to women and children increased by 38 per cent in the first half of 2013 reflecting a grim reality of the conflict today in Afghanistan.”