Afghan peace marchers address demands to President Ghani in Kabul


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Sep 30, 2011
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Members of the Afghan peace convoy addressed a list of demands to President Ashraf Ghani in the capital Kabul after walking for months across the country in a peaceful protest against the ongoing war.

Hundreds of marchers who arrived in Kabul on Monday were welcomed by residents with food and drinks after their journey by foot that started from the Helmand province.

The peaceful demonstration was triggered after a car bomb explosion in Helmand, near a sports stadium during a wrestling match on March 23, killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens. No group claimed responsibility.

The group addressed four demands to Ghani on Tuesday: a ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces, negotiation between the two sides to result in an implemented law agreed by both sides and the withdrawal of foreign forces.

"We told Ashraf Ghani that he will have to act upon our demands," Iqbal Khyber, head of the convoy, told Al Jazeera.

"He told us that our demands will be met but if the Taliban keep attacking us we will have to defend ourselves."
Afghan peace marchers address demands to President Ghani in Kabul

The marchers, all men, including teachers, students and war victims on crutches and one in a wheelchair, were welcomed along the way by village women carrying the holy Koran, men singing and dancing or offering bread and yoghurt, some in tears.

“I saw and learnt things that I had never thought of before,” said Iqbal Khayber, 27, a medical student from Helmand.

“We met people in areas controlled by the Taliban and in areas under government control - everyone is really tired of war.”
Afghan peace marchers arrive in Kabul exhausted and tired of war

That's interesting; however, making deals with the Taliban has not worked out in the past.

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