Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Highest ever civilian casualties reflect evolution of conflict

< 1 min

Radio France International, 25 July 2016

Quotes of AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on UNAMA’s latest report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan on the website of France’s international radio:

“After the breakdown of attempts to get peace talks with the Taliban going, the Afghan government has said we will switch to a military solution for the time being, and that has led to an intensification of fighting on the ground, and of course the Taliban were also hitting back,” explains Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghan Analysts Network.

“We had seen this increase less strongly percentage-wise already after the last reporting period, and the UN had warned the government that, although they were leading a legitimate fight, they had to take the protection of civilians into consideration,” Ruttig says. “That has apparently not had the necessary effect.” (…)

And on the 23 July terror attack in Kabul:

“It’s not the first attack they were responsible for in Afghanistan, but it’s by far the biggest one, so that also needs to be part of the picture, but it will be much more difficult even than with the Taliban to convince the IS not to attack civilian targets,” says Thomas Ruttig.

“That’s a new factor, but on the other hand, as terrible as that attack is, the IS is by far a much smaller actor on the Afghan battlefield than the Taliban.”