O report presented by the UN Secretary-General on the subject qualifies the state of civilian protection in 2023 as “extremely grim”.

The conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was notably the deadliest, resulting in 21,672 Palestinians killed and 56,165 injured, mostly women and children, according to the UN.

These figures were highlighted today in the UN Security Council’s annual debate on the protection of civilians, with the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Joyce Msuya, highlighting the intense Israeli military response in Gaza following the Hamas attack, which resulted in “death, destruction and suffering at a pace and on a scale unprecedented in the recent past”.

“Around 75% of Gaza’s population has been forcibly displaced. A man-made famine is imminent. Thousands of children have been killed and injured in what UNICEF colleagues have called a ‘war on children’,” he said, also remembering the hostages who continue to be held by the Islamist movement Hamas.

Although the United Nations recorded the deaths of more than 33,000 civilians in armed conflicts last year, the UN representative stressed that the real numbers are probably higher, with the use of explosives in populated areas having devastating impacts on populations. civilians in numerous conflicts.

“In all conflicts, civilians accounted for 90% of those killed and injured when explosive weapons were used in populated areas,” he highlighted.

Among the conflicts that have increased the number of civilian victims, Joyce Msuya mentioned those taking place in Gaza, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, the Sahel region, Somalia, Syria or Ukraine.

In Sudan, for example, conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces resulted in approximately 12,260 deaths and 33,000 injuries, with widespread reports of sexual violence.

Civilians have also been severely affected by widespread damage and destruction of critical infrastructure, which has disrupted the supply of electricity, water and healthcare to millions of people.

Furthermore, in 21 conflicts, more than 2,300 incidents of violence and other forms of interference against medical workers, facilities, equipment, transport and patients were recorded, Msuya said.

“In 14 conflicts in 2023, not counting the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 91 aid workers were tragically killed, 120 injured and 53 kidnapped. In Gaza alone, the UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) lost 142 staff in violence between October and December”, he recalled.

The conflict was also the main driver of the surprisingly high levels of hunger. In 19 conflict-affected countries or territories, 117 million people experienced crisis levels of acute food insecurity or higher, according to the UN.

Joyce Msuya took advantage of the strong diplomatic presence at today’s meeting to warn “that the Council’s resolutions on the protection of civilians from the last 25 years remain largely ignored”.

“The damage and suffering caused to civilians in 2023 signals an alarming lack of compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law. (…) We must redouble efforts to reinforce compliance with these obligations by the parties to the conflict”, he appealed .

The deputy secretary-general also called for strengthening accountability for these violations, including “defending the independence and impartiality of the International Criminal Court (ICC)”.

The UN representative’s appeals come a day after ICC prosecutor Karim Khan announced that he had requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for crimes such as “hunger deliberate killing of civilians”, “intentional killing” and “extermination and/or murder” related to the Israeli operation in Gaza.

The ICC prosecutor also requested arrest warrants for three senior Hamas officials – Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinouar – for “extermination”, “rape and other forms of sexual violence” and “taking hostages as a war crime”, related to the attack by the Islamist movement on Israel on October 7th.

Read Also: At least 20 Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2565593/extremamente-sombrio-mortes-de-civis-em-conflitos-aumentam-72-em-2023

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