News / Asia

ICRC Urges Long-Term International Commitment to Afghanistan

An Afghan girl stands near a U.S. soldier standing guard at a U.S. military checkpoint in Kuz district in Kunar (File)
An Afghan girl stands near a U.S. soldier standing guard at a U.S. military checkpoint in Kuz district in Kunar (File)

The International Committee of the Red Cross is urging the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, to remain engaged and committed to working for the wellbeing of Afghanistan after international troops withdraw from the country in 2014.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says civilians in Afghanistan are still paying the price of conflict 10 years after the invasion of their country by American-led international forces. It says Afghans remain caught in the middle of armed violence and the security situation in many areas of the country remains alarming.

The ICRC’s head of operations for South Asia, Jacques de Maio, says many Afghans are pessimistic about the immediate future. He says they are uncertain about what will happen after international troops leave Afghanistan.

U.S. soldiers from Task Force
U.S. soldiers from Task Force "Cacti" are enveloped with smoke as they fire 120 mm mortar at Taliban positions from Combat Outpost Penich, in Khas Konar district in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan, September 30, 2011

He tells VOA the ICRC anticipates continued armed conflict in the coming months and years. And he says that because of the unpredictability of future developments, the international community must remain involved and assume responsibility for what happens in Afghanistan.

“It is not because you withdraw, that you can self-exonerate yourselves from the responsibilities for what you leave behind. And, since we are not leaving with the international forces, since we are determined to stay in Afghanistan, we want to make that clear to everybody, so that everybody has to assume responsibility," said De Maio. "First and foremost, the parties to the conflict-the Afghan government, the Afghan forces, but also the armed opposition - all of them. But also the international component of this internationalized internal war.”

De Maio is referring to the NATO-led ISAF mission. He also says security and health care are the biggest humanitarian problems facing the people of Afghanistan today. He says access to medical care is at a critically low point in conflict-affected areas.

"Roads are mined, checkpoints are blocking movements, so that sick and wounded and people carrying them to hospital face long delays, obstacles, and sometimes with very tragic consequences … Conflict-related displacement is up over 40 percent in comparison to last year in parts of the north of the country … Malnutrition also has increased in some specific areas, but even in the south over the past year … Clearly, one has to recognize that the ongoing persistence of armed conflict is a very defining factor to this,” De Maio said.  

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been working in Afghanistan for 25 years and has no plans to leave. It says it remains committed to helping the people who are most vulnerable.

As international troops leave Afghanistan, responsibility for security is passing back to the Afghan authorities. De Maio says Red Cross workers will remain to monitor how the Afghan defense and security forces perform.  This includes continued visits to detainees to determine whether the conditions of their confinement are acceptable.

As part of its mandate to protect the civilian population, de Maio says the Red Cross will continue to remind both government and opposition forces of their obligation to respect international humanitarian law.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More