Taliban spread havoc amid civilians in Afghanistan

Ruins of a building in a desolate land Ruins of a building in a desolate land Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

07 July 2021

Taliban fighters plunder and burn civilians’ houses, forcibly displacing residents

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Taliban forces looted and burned civilians’ houses in the town of Bagh-e Sherkat –situated in northern Afghanistan-, forcing residents to evacuate and flee. As a consequence of the assaults, it has been estimated that roughly 600 families had to abandon the town, seeking shelter either in Taloqan, 70 miles east, or in Faizabad, 230 miles east. Despite Taliban denied responsibilities for these crimes, HRW highlights how these attacks against civilians are intended to scare and threaten people who have been allegedly supporting the government throughout the hostilities.

Since the United States withdrew its troops in 2021, the conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan governmental forces has become more intense, often leading to heinous attacks against innocent civilians. HRW reports that several hundreds of people (including journalists and officials) have been killed and injured by indiscriminate attacks perpetrated by both insurgent militants and government airstrikes. Additionally, in all the provinces where Taliban forces have gained full control of the territory, women’s rights and freedom of expression have been severely restricted, bringing about further violations of the International Humanitarian Law framework.

In light of this dreadful scenario, the International Criminal Court is currently pondering whether to carry out an official investigation into the war crimes which have been committed throughout the conflict, both by Taliban and by the governmental armed forces. The acknowledgment of both warring parties’ liability for these dire infringements of the laws of war is pivotal to end impunity and to prevent the recurrence of such atrocities in the future, ultimately contributing to improve the personal security of the people living in the region.







Author: Gianpaolo Mascaro; Editor: Jasmina Saric

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