So they reject the report but none of the countries involved in the mission provides numbers of civilians killed, results of investigations, or whether anyone was punished. This is certainly not a great record of accountability from which to criticise the UN report.
NATO rejects UN report on Afghan civilian killings
REUTERSReuters North American News Service
May 18, 2008 09:12 EST
KABUL, May 18 (Reuters) - NATO rejected on Sunday a report by a UN rapporteur about the number of civilian killings at the hands of the alliance-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Philip Alston said on Thursday some 200 Afghan civilians had been killed by foreign and Afghan troops and around 300 by Taliban insurgents since the beginning of 2008.
"In summary, we find much of the substance and the overall tone of his statement inaccurate and unsubstantiated," Mark Laity, a spokesman for NATO, told a news conference.
He did concede that civilians were mistakenly killed by foreign forces while hunting the Taliban militants, but put the number much lower than reported by Alston.
"We would say it is in low double figures," he said.
Alston said international troops and Taliban insurgents needed to do more to avoid civilian casualties or many more innocents would be killed in the ongoing conflict.
The U.N. rapporteur called for more accountability from the more than 55,000 foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military in Afghanistan, who together with Afghan government troops are engaged in daily battles with a resurgent Taliban mainly in the south and east of the country.
Alston said he had found no evidence of intentional killing by foreign troops and particular cases were investigated to considerable lengths. But he said no international force was able or willing to provide numbers of civilians killed, the results of investigations or whether anyone had been punished.
"We ... acknowledge the accountability issue is complex," Laity said, adding NATO-led nations were accountable to the law of armed conflict and to individual contributing nations and members were investigating alleged or mistaken civilian deaths. (Reporting by Sayed Salahuddin; Editing by Charles Dick)
Source: Reuters North American News Service