Members of the Helmand Peace Convoy on Sunday marched through the streets of Kabul as they made their way the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) compound in PD10 in Shar-e-Naw, where they erected a sit-in tent for three days protest, Tolonews reported.
This is the next phase of their protest action which started about two months ago and one that has continued to gather momentum.
Initially they launched a sit-in protest in Lashkargah city after a suicide bombing outside a stadium. About a month later, a group of eight protestors left Helmand on foot for Kabul, all the while spreading messages of peace.
The activists walked through towns and villages, crossed provinces and met with local residents along the way. And as they progressed, so their numbers grew.
About 700km later, the group of eight had grown to an estimated 100.
Finally arriving in Kabul last week, they handed over demands for a ceasefire and peace to both the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The group gave the Taliban three days deadline to respond to their demands, but the militant group failed to give any public response to their call for the truce extension and peace talks but in a private message the Taliban reiterated their old line urging the peace seekers to take their march to US base in Bagram.
After Taliban ruled out their call for peace, the group decided to protest in front of embassies of some country and office of the UNAMA.
The convoy’s spokesman Bismillah Watandost said on Sunday: “We will spend three days in front of each embassy. During these three days, we will try to launch demonstrations in those countries that we are protesting against. By holding our demonstrations, we want to create a relationship between our people and the citizens of those countries; and we hope the citizens of the foreign countries ask their governments why Afghans are protesting outside their embassies,” Watandost said.
UNAMA welcomed the marchers saying that their door open to discuss extension of ceasefire and getting intra-Afghan peace talks started. In a short statement on its twitter account, UNAMA said it was committed to support Afghan people’s will for the extension of a ceasefire and the beginning of Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace talks to end the war.
The activists, whose ages range from 17 to 65, come from all walks of life and include students, athletes and farmers among others.
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