Kandahar protest camp demands ceasefire in Helmand
KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): Civil society activists have erected a protest tent in southern Kandahar province demanding an end to the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Helmand province.
Dozens of members of a civil society group, Youth Caravan, have gathered under the tent holding placards inscribed with slogans like “we don’t want more war in Helmand” and “Helmand! We are saddened by your grief” and others.
Head of the civil society group, Abdul Wali Wadan, told Pajhwok Afghan News the government should take urgent steps to stop the war in Helmand.
He said civilians were bearing the brunt of the situation in the opium rich province.
He said the clashes in Helmand had not only caused casualties to civilians but also destroyed their livelihood, forcing thousands of families to flee homes.
Wadan said if their protest movement did not produce results and the warring sides did not listen to their call, they would march towards Helmand in protest.
Many residents of Kanahar province say civilians have suffered the most in the ongoing conflict in Helmand and the warring parties should show mercy on their situation.
Abdul Samand, an elderly man, told Pajhwok Afghan News the civilians in Helmand were used as human shields and their houses as bastions.
He said the insurgents had planted landmines in several areas and most of the roads, bridges and other similar welfare projects had been damaged and destroyed. “The situation in Helmand is beyond tolerance.”
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