4 Oct 2017 20:53

Civilian casualty toll in Donbas drops noticeably in September - OSCE

MINSK. Oct 4 (Interfax) - September saw the lowest number of civilian victims since the Donbas conflict began, according to the special representative of the OSCE in the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, Martin Sajdik.

According to UN data, September saw the lowest number of civilian casualties since the conflict began, two dead and 16 injured, Sajdik told reporters in Minsk on Wednesday.

Also, the number of ceasefire violations since mid-September has remained noticeably lower than when the ceasefire was introduced on the occasion of the start of the school year, he said.

Also, thanks to the bread truce, introduced in June, the number of civilian casualties has been going down stably and noticeably, Sajdik said.

But that is not to say that the situation in the conflict is stable, which is why the contact group will continue making every effort to keep the indefinite ceasefire in place, he said.

In this context, it is important that all parties make a joint effort, Sajdik said. The work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is part and parcel of the peace process, and it is important here to avoid public polemics questioning the reliability and constructiveness of the mission's work, he said.

The security subgroup, which also met in Minsk on Wednesday, discussed ceasefire implementation, disengagement, the removal of heavy weaponry, the protection of civilian infrastructure, and the creation of security zones around it, Sajdik said.