Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Civilians Bear the Brunt of War and Violence

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Civilians Bear the Brunt of War and Violence

War and violence have inflicted heavy casualties upon nations and left indescribable destruction behind. People have been suffering from violence for many centuries and decades, but the violence is less likely to come to an end. A number of nations still withstand unbearable pain and unspeakable catastrophe around the world. The stories of violence and killings continue unabated. Democratic and human rights discourse could not bring an end to deadly wars.
Yemenis men, women, and children are suffering in the worst possible way as a result of Saudi-led coalition attacks against Houthis in support of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The conflict continued and more than 8,600 people have been killed and 49,000 wounded since March 2015, many of them in air strikes by a Saudi-led multinational coalition that backs the president. The conflict and a blockade imposed by the coalition have also left 20 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and created the world’s largest food security emergency. The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is violated flagrantly as civilians, particularly women and children, are reportedly killed in large number.
As the war between coalition and Houthis reaches its third year, more than 80 percent of Yemenis do not have access to basic necessities of life. After all, a report released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), says that one million people are afflicted by cholera in Yemen, which is a new milestone for what was already one of the fastest growing outbreaks of the deadly disease in modern history. As of late September, cholera had killed more than 2,200 people in Yemen, according to UN figures. The disease is spread through water and food that has been contaminated with waste from a person who already has the disease, and occurs most frequently in places with poor sanitation and sewage facilities. The fallout of the continuing conflict on civilians has been massive with millions facing hunger, according to the UN, which says the country is on the brink of famine and described the crisis as the world’s worst crisis. Hence, the ongoing crisis in Yemen imposes great sufferings on civilians.
To view the terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, civilians bear the brunt of terrorism. The Taliban and loyalists to the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) show no mercy to civilians through targeting them intentionally. They neither have knowledge about IHL nor observe humanity or ethical code. Afghan civilians persistently feel fear and disappointment as a result of unmitigated militancy and their freedoms are curtailed to a great extent. Moreover, those soldiers who are killed in battles leave their children and spouses behind. Subsequently, their families encounter great financial constraints and the government does not take care of them. So, the consequences of soldiers’ death are also felt by civilians.
The ISIL’s loyalists practice upon more radical ideology and seek to spill the blood of combatants and non-combatants wherever and whenever possible. They target sacred places and kill people while worshipping. Due to their sinister nature, the more they kill, the better they mollify their conscience, which is contrary to a sound conscience.
In Afghanistan, almost every individual has experienced or seen a tragic scene. The post-Taliban Afghanistan which was followed by human rights and democratic discourse, did not allay the public anxiety or remedy their bleeding wounds. Terrorist fighters, mainly the Taliban, remain a formidable enemy of Afghan nation. They continue shedding the blood of women and children in public places. Their ideology is against the freedom of men and women and against democracy. They seek to weaken the public determination in showing tendency towards democracy and human rights discourse, which are considered a western style of life by the militants. Due to their radical mindset, the Taliban are not able to show tolerance towards the public way of life and seek to restrict their freedoms, especially women’s freedom and their social and political activities. In the past, many female politicians were ambushed by the militants simply to intimidate them to abandon their positions. In fact, both men and women suffer in one way or another in light of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and their rights and freedoms are widely violated.
To sum up, the scourge of war left heavy casualties and destruction behind and took its toll on civilians. It is the time that the world puts an end to violence and bloodshed so as to protect the rights of all individuals and nations. It is aptly said in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind”. On the other hand, observing the IHL and respecting the rights and dignity of all individuals will lead to global peace and prosperity. Thus, the world needs to strengthen the spirit of brotherhood and promote peace through exercising tolerance and campaigning against all kinds of radicalism.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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