Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

The Shocking Human Fatalities

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The Shocking Human Fatalities

Regional conflicts have taken a colossal toll on civilians, mainly children. Human fatalities make the headlines around the world. Streams of civilians’ blood are spilled without a sense of mercy. The scourge of war generates an outpouring of grief and outrages human conscience across the globe. 
Non-combatants, including women and children, suffer indescribable pain as a result of ongoing war and violence. Their fundamental rights – i.e. their rights to life, liberty and property – are violated flagrantly. Civilians bear the brunt of conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, to name but a few. According to reports, at least 18 civilians have been killed and more than 45 wounded in the Syrian city of Iqlib in the wake of attacks carried out by Russia and Syrian government. The shelling spanned several areas, including Massaran, Khan al-Sabil, and Idlib city, where aid workers say many remain trapped under the rubble. Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that air strikes on Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, killed at least 23 people and wounded 72 on Monday.
UNICEF said that 83 children, including 59 Syrians, were killed in the first month of the current year in Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen. “These children have paid the highest price for wars that they have absolutely no responsibility for. Their lives have been cut short, their families forever broken in grief,” Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, is cited as saying. 
Syria’s civil war has claimed at least 400,000 lives and displaced 22 million people since fighting began in March 2011.
The reports about civilian casualties are highly outrageous. Armed parties and governments violate the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) through shedding the blood of civilians whose life has turned extremely cheap. They do not respect human principles stated in the international instruments. The frequent, bloody episodes will undermine the public faith in human rights discourse and international instruments. The endorsement of the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) after the Second World War, which aimed to alleviate the sufferings of the nations and put an end to violence and bloodshed, could not prevent from conflicts or human fatalities. Hence, the public dream for a violence-free society did not come true. To put it succinctly, members of the human family still suffer in the dystopian world.
It is self-explanatory that human fatalities are mainly caused by terrorism and militancy. Showing no respect to international instruments, militant fighters target people indiscriminately. Both ideologue and mercenary fighters target civilians for one reason or another. For instance, with a view to foisting their warp minds on the public, the ideologues will kill anyone who holds out against their radical ideology. On the other hand, mercenaries exercise no religious, moral, or human principles and shed the blood of combatants and non-combatants, including children, without an iota of mercy.
Apart from the issue of terrorism, states are also widely involved in killing civilians. For example, although the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL also known as ISIS) has lost ground in Iraq and Syria, the human fatalities continue unabated. The Syrian government, along with its strategic partner Russia, has killed a large number of men, women, and children in Syria. Similarly, the Saudi-led coalition inflicted heavy casualties on civilians in Yemen and so did Israeli soldiers in Palestine. Thus, it is really shocking to see that governments target people indiscriminately and show no respect to IHL.
It is widely accepted that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” is the lifeblood of peace and prosperity. If individuals and nations respect the rights of one another regardless of their racial and religious backgrounds, human societies will be void of violence and carnage. Nonetheless, violence does not appear to be abating if states do not respect human rights or territorial integrity of one another.
To sum up, the graph of human fatality is extremely high and civilians, mainly children, sustain the bulk of casualties as a result of regional conflicts, which is a stain on the public conscience. Hence, the international community should stop playing the role of spectator and take serious step to put an end to the ongoing conflicts so as to mitigate the public sufferings. 

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

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