A 11 June press statement from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan slates May 2011 as the deadliest month for Afghan civilians since at least 2007. However this big-hearted announcement conceals a grossly pernicious attempt to cover up US-NATO killings of civilians in occupied Afghanistan.
In its report, UNAMA documents 368 conflict-related civilian deaths and 593 civilian injuries in May 2011. Georgette Gagnon, Director of Human Rights for UNAMA states that, “More civilians were killed in May than in any other month since 2007 when UNAMA began documenting civilian casualties”.
The UN’s disgusting attempt at whitewashing US-NATO’s killing of civilians is revealed in UNAMA’s breakdown of the causes of the deaths (emphasis mine):
Anti-government elements were responsible for 301 civilian deaths (82 per cent of all civilian deaths in May).
Forty-five civilian deaths (12 per cent of all civilian deaths in May 2011) were attributed to pro government forces.
Twenty-two deaths or six per cent of civilian deaths in May 2011 could not be attributed to any party to the conflict as most of these deaths were caused by crossfire.
So according to this statement from the UN, 94% of Afghan civilian deaths are caused by other Afghans, and 6% could not be attributed to any party. The press release contains no mention of the terms “US” or “NATO” whatsoever.
Then, hidden away towards the end of the statement (still without mentioning the words “US” or “NATO” at all), is a single sentence which lays in direct contradiction to the ‘could not be attributed’ claim:
Air strikes caused three per cent of the total civilian deaths in May.
Let’s compare and contrast this with the following reports of civilian deaths caused by NATO in May 2011:
- 15 May 2011: Afghanistan: US troops kill several women and children
- 29 May 2011: Nato air strikes kill 52 Afghans
- 29 May 2011: NATO airstrikes kill 32 Afghan civilians, 20 police
These two incidents alone would put the May 2011 US-NATO civilian death toll at a number closer to fifteen per cent – far higher than the three per cent figure buried in the UN’s ‘could not be attributed to any party‘ deception.
UNAMA’s shameless statement reflects the US policy of discounting civilians whom they murder as being ‘insurgents’, and it draws attention to the fact that the UN is totally complicit in the whitewashing of NATO war crimes in Afghanistan and beyond.