Thursday, August 16, 2007

British casualties mount while civilians continue to suffer

The London Telegraph reports that "The casualty rate among [British] front line units fighting in Afghanistan has now surpassed the average suffered by troops in the Second World War", when 11% of soldiers were either killed or seriously injured. British forces working under NATO's ISAF command are in charge of operations in Helmand province.

The UN's IRIN news agency relays sobering news on the consequences of the war on civilians: "Since April, over 1,060 civilians have died in armed conflicts between Taliban insurgents and Afghan security forces backed by international troops, according to a confidential report prepared by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior," the agency reports. They add that NATO/US forces have killed roughly the same number as have the Taliban. In response to this hellish chaos, some 80,000 Afghans have become Internally Displaced Persons, whose plight is of little concern to the Canadian government, whose forces operate in close proximity to the IDP's who often lack clean water and other basic necessities. Last fall, the Senlis Council's Norine MacDonald reported that IDP's were "starving" while Canadian soldiers stationed some 15 minutes away had no mandate to assist those desperate people. See Toronto Star, Oct 25/06 (not online).

1 comment:

jo said...

The Senlis Council's reports on the situation on Afghanistan, in the south particularly, make for shocking reading (see But even more shocking is the fact that the international governments involved in Afghanistan are not sufficiently contributing to the economic development and reconstruction of the country in a way that would allow Afghans to take control of their futures. The eradication policy that the US and their allies insist has been nothing but a failure that has cost thousands their livelihoods and contributed to hostility against international forces and the Afghan government. When will policy makers realise that countries are not reconstructed and hearts and minds are not won through bombing and destroying resources?