“I am extremely concerned with the increase in civilian casualties in the conflict zone, especially those caused by the shelling and fire from small arms and light weapons. In March of this year, our Mission [the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine] recorded two civilian deaths and 14 civilian injuries resulting from shelling and SALW fire on both sides of the contact line: two killed and 11 injured in territory controlled by the self-proclaimed ‘republics’, and three injured in Government-controlled territory. This is equal to the total number of such casualties over the preceding five months, from 1 October 2019 to 29 February 2020 (one killed and 15 injured),” reads Bogner’s statement posted on website of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
The UN representative added that civilians also continued to be killed and injured in mine-related incidents and as a result of handling of explosive remnants of war.
“It is important to remember that all parties to the conflict are bound by international humanitarian law, including the obligations relating to the conduct of hostilities, governed by the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, at all times,” Bogner noted.
She underscored that responsibility to comply with these principles was both with immediate participants of hostilities and with their commanders.
“Next week, the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine that has already taken more than 3,500 civilian lives, will enter its seventh year. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission calls on all parties involved in the hostilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions to undertake maximal efforts to abide by the laws and customs of war and to achieve a sustainable ceasefire. Civilian deaths and injuries must stop,” the statement reads.
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