Cordaid has joined a coalition of local partners in a nationwide signature collection campaign for peace in Afghanistan. The campaign pushes for an immediate ceasefire between the conflicting parties as well as a gearshift in the Intra-Afghan peace negotiations.
In addition, the campaigning citizens ask for the meaningful inclusion of women, youth, and war victims in the peace process. They also demand the protection of achievements gained in the past two decades, after the Taliban rule came to an end in 2001.
Crisis intensifies, but peace is still possible
In the past three months, the conflict in Afghanistan has intensified. The withdrawal of the international forces from the country has created a security situation. Both the Afghan government and the Taliban are now battling for grounds. The situation has only added to the complexity of the protracted armed conflict in the country. Citizens in conflict zones are displaced due to the persistent offensives and armed clashes in their localities. With the increase of armed violence in the country, people fear another full-blown civil war as they experienced in the 1990s.
Yet, despite the intensifying crisis, people in Afghanistan are still hoping peace is possible. The Intra-Afghan peace negotiations between the Afghan Government in Taliban representatives in Doha remain a source of hope. Negotiation teams of both sides are back in Doha, exploring the possibilities of a peace agreement.
Tired of war
To build lasting peace, also on community and grassroots levels, people’s voices and demands need to be part and parcel of the Afghan peace process. To have their voices heard, Afghan volunteers, peace activists, and Cordaid’s team in Afghanistan have collected half a million signatures from women, men, youth, and war victims across the country. “We are trying to promote people’s and particularly women’s demands and voices into the Intra-Afghan Peace negotiations. It is very important considering the ongoing situation in Afghanistan,” says Aasia Akhundzada, Cordaid’s Programme Manager for Inclusive Peace in Afghanistan.
This national campaign brings across a clear message: the people of Afghanistan are tired of the war and ask for immediate peace in the country.
The signatures and the campaign’s declaration will be carried forward and presented to the negotiating parties of the Afghan Peace Process. This will be done with the support of the High Council for National Reconciliation, the national governing body for peace in Afghanistan.