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Traumatized by conflicts, Afghan IDPs want peace

17 Jul 2021 - 09:38
17 Jul 2021 - 09:38

KABUL (Pajhwok): Internally displaced people affected by war, who currently live with troubles in Kampani area of capital Kabul, ask militants and the government to end conflict and embrace peace.

These IDPs live in a camp in in Kampani area in the fifth police district of Kabul.

Hundreds of families who fled clashes in different parts of the country have taken refuge in this area and live in tents under sizzling sun without having access to basic services.

Silence ruled the area when Pajhwok reporters arrived in a car, but the silence was broken as dogs sleeping under containers started barking at our vehicle.

We moved in one of the camp’s streets where children in dirty clothes and bared feet were gathered around a water pump. A number of men were also seen in the street sitting against a wall.

These men preferred to sit outside because a single tent in the camp was shared by several families and they had no space in the tent to stay.

A number of people in the camp came close to our vehicle when they saw cameras and they welcomed us. They probably hoped their voice would reach the government through us.

Haji Sardar Mohammad, a representative of the camp, said that around 1,500 displaced families lived in the area.

He said that 178 of these families joined the camp in the last two months from Kandahar, Paktia, Uruzgan, Khost, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces, who fled conflicts.

Mohammad led us to an enclosure where seven tents were erected and each of them sheltered several families who recently escaped conflicts.

He said that new IDPs were helped by displaced families who previously resided in the area to find a shelter for them. “Sometimes the newly arrived IDPs are also provided with food by other residents of the camp, but sometimes we are also unable to help them and they are left hungry,” he said.

Mohammad asked the government, aid organizations and traders to help the displaced families.

Zarmina, 13, who recently displaced form Uruzgan province and currently lives in the camp with her family, said, “It was night and we were in sleep when the Taliban knocked at our door and alerted us about war and we should leave the area. My mother, father and sisters woke up and we got out of our home without taking anything with us, I got out bared feet because of fear.”

She asked the government and the Taliban to end war and embrace peace.

When asked what will she do if peace comes, Zarmina said, “We will go back to our home, Eid is in a few days and my mother will buy me new clothes, my father will buy henna, sweets and cookies for me and my sisters; if peace comes we will spend Eid in our home.”

Rahmatullah, another displaced person in the area who said he was from Uruzgan province, said, “There was a fierce fighting, we had no chance but to go out of our home, there was also no place to take refuge, mortar shells were hitting every street and house, no one could help another.”

“A mortar shell hit our house in broad daylight, my father, mother, cousin and widowed sister who had five children were killed in front of my eyes,” he added.

“The smallest of these children is three years old and the elder one is 10 years old,” he said, uncomfortably while his voice was reflecting the grief he was feeling.

Before controlling his tears, he said: “Nearly two months ago we came to this camp, but not one has so far assisted us and we stay hungry most of the time in one piece of clothes.”

He lives with his one step sister and five orphaned nephews said sometime people who in the past displaced and lived in this camp provided them with assistance.

Rahmatullah, who worked as a farmer, asked conflicting sides to renounce violence and reconcile for the sake of these five children and thousands of other people who were forced to displace due to insecurity and conflict.

He asked government, national businesspersons and well-off persons to provide assistance to displaced persons.

QamarGulla, 30, from the Zherai district of Kandahar province lives in a tent in this camp. She said she is the mother of seven children and her husband died in a firefight three years ago.

As QamarGulla was unable to control his breath, she said that she had a comfortable life with her children but she had to leave her house due to conflict and arrived in this camp with the help of neighbours.

She said: “When my husband died I started sewing clothes and earned livelihood. Situation deteriorated and we could only manage to protect ourselves. The Taliban control all places, they had no mercy, every house was the victim of mortar shelling and during the night airstrikes were conducted. Everyone managed to flee and those who were unable to protect themselves were killed. We also managed to flee and came to Kabul, government should provide us with food, water and shelter.”

“I urge the Taliban and the government to stop fighting, not to kill innocent people, foreigners are taking advantage of the current war in Afghanistan, now America is out, jihad is over, they must stop fighting, sit at the negotiating table and make peace.”

Another displaced woman is Bi BiGul who migrated from Kandahar’s Khakrez district and arrived in the camp. Her husband died after deeply involved in taking drugs few years back.

She also demanded the conflicting sides to reconcile and help displaced families to overcome terrible condition.

This comes at a time when fighting is underway in different parts of the country. People are forced to leave their houses and live in on of camps in Kabul.

According to State Ministry for Natural Disaster Management Authority over 32,000 families have been displaced in different provinces of the country, government provided assistance to 20,000 families while there is need for $500 million to provide assistance to all displaced families.

In the past two years five million people have been displaced and Afghan government needs the assistance of international community to provide them with support.

Besides displaced families, common Afghans have been demanding of the government and the Taliban to reconcile. Some 10 months ago intra-Afghan talks started in Qatar but so far both sides have agreed on procedural rules only.

Mds/nh/ma

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