UNITED NATIONS, New York – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara A. Otunnu, expressed deep concern and sadness over the terrible news that 6 children have been killed in attacks by Coalition troops, last Friday in Gardez, south west of Kabul.

Mr. Otunnu calls upon the Coalition forces in Afghanistan to “take measures to ensure fuller protection of children, and prevent the occurrence of this kind of tragedies in the future”. “Children deserve special protection by all parties in situations of armed conflict”, he added.

The attack in Gardez happened only one day before another tragic incident where nine children died following a Coalition air strike in the village of Petaw. Mr. Otunnu reiterated his earlier request that “all parties must apply and fully respect international instruments pertaining to the protection of war-affected children, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and the Security Council Resolutions 1261 (1999), 1314 (2000), 1379 (2001) and 1460 (2003)”.

The Special Representative conveyed his deepest condolences to the families of the six children. He also called for a full investigation of the tragic incident.

The Special Representative serves as international advocate for children affected by armed conflict by promoting standards and measures for their protection in times of war as well as their healing and social reintegration in the aftermath of conflict.