Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council, in a brief report on alleged violations of IHL by the Taliban, Afghanistan stated that, during the 1994 failed coup, more than 3,000 rockets had rained down on the innocent civilian population of Kabul and on residential areas of the town.
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “Gen. Allen: We will not bombard civilian[…] areas and houses”, which stated:
President Hamid Karzai … summoned top NATO commander, Gen. John Allen, and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan to the presidential palace for an extraordinary security meeting for explanation on military operations in the provinces that led to civilian casualties.
President Karzai underlined that Afghanistan signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States with the aim to prevent such incidents from happening again and to safeguard people’s lives. …
In response, Gen. Allen said he personally takes personal responsibility for the incidents and agreed on the president’s suggestions that they will not bombard[…] the civilian areas … anymore.
President Karzai reminded Gen. Allen and Ambassador Crocker that civilian casualties and bombing villages were neither acceptable in the past nor is that acceptable today.
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “President Karzai calls on Taliban to stop pursuing objectives of outsiders, but rather begin a life of dignity and honor under Afghanistan[’s] Constitution”, which stated: “In his Eid remarks, the President urged the Taliban and other armed opposition to renounce violence and killings in Afghanistan and to stop destroying … schools.”