WASHINGTON (Jan. 19, 2017) – On the release of the 2016 Annual Report on Civilian Casualties in Non-Declared Theatres of Conflict by the White House today, CIVIC Executive Director Federico Borello said:

“CIVIC welcomes the latest report as an incremental step toward greater transparency in the conduct of U.S. strikes outside of declared theatres of conflict, although we are again disappointed that the level of detail and the numbers fall well short of those reported by most independent observers.

“Transparency and accuracy in these numbers are important to gaining public trust—not for the benefit of CIVIC or others in the international community, but for the communities and civilians harmed by these operations. They know, better than anybody, how many civilians are actually killed, and it’s important for official figures to match reality.

“If the U.S. government consistently arrives at figures that differ substantially from other publically available and credible non-governmental sources, it should outline clearly its methods and provide more detailed explanations for how they reached their conclusions. Doing so would also give the public better recourse to validate and substantiate – or further challenge – the information.

“On the eve of the US political transition, we acknowledge the efforts taken by the Obama administration to add additional transparency and accountability to its counterterrorism operations, like those in the Executive Order on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures to address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force, and we express our deepest hopes that the next administration will continue in that vein.”

Background:

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Notes to editors:
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives. More information available at civiliansinconflict.org.

To speak to Executive Director Federico Borello or for more information contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org 

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