The Caravan of Peace started from Kabul last August 10th. 42 people walked 700 km, 25 barefoot with wounded feet. But peace still seems far away.
Kabul (AsiaNews) – Walking barefoot from Kabul to Balkh to ask for peace. The Caravan of Peace, which started in May by Helmand and arrived in the capital on 18 June traveled about 700 km on foot under the scorching sun. Between Kabul and Balkh (north of the country) there are about 550 km. Their plea for a cease-fire and peace will not stop, not even for the sores that cover many of their feet.
"We left Kabul on August 10th - Bismillah Watandost (see photo 2), spokesperson for the group told AsiaNews this morning - we are now in the province of Baghlan, in the district of Khinjan. We are 42 in all, and 25 are barefoot. They will walk from Kabul to Balkh barefoot ". The biggest challenge of the last days was to pass through the Salgan tunnel (see picture 4), a cold and windy section about 2.6 km long. Six of the members got sick and were taken to the hospital. "Now they're fine," adds Watandost.
"Our message is for people to rise up and demand peace and a ceasefire from the government, the Taliban. To both parties involved in the conflict ", comments Watandost.
However, their appeal does not stop at the Afghan borders. In Kabul, activists organized three-day sit-in in front of numerous embassies and UN offices. "We ask the global community, the UN, all the people in the world to give us the ceasefire and peace. In many respects this is a foreign war. Many countries are involved in this war, and they are killing us. If they do not see this situation, if they do not ask for peace and a ceasefire, then these countries will kill us all."
Peace in the country still seems far away. After days of heated fighting in recent weeks, on 20 August the Taliban responded to a proposed ceasefire by the Afghan government by kidnapping (and later releasing) nearly 200 passengers of three buses, in the northern province of Kunduz. Two days ago, the rebels agreed to attend a Moscow peace summit. But to which the Afghan government will not take part.