News Release

Activist Just Back from Afghanistan as Ceasefire is Announced

CNN is reporting: “Afghanistan announces temporary ceasefire with the Taliban.”

KATHY KELLY, kathy at vcnv.org, @voiceinwild
Kelly arrived back to the U.S. from Afghanistan Wednesday night. She is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and has been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. While in Kabul, she is a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers.

She said today: “It’s being reported that this ceasefire is only with the Taliban, but there are other fighting networks in Afghanistan. In 2017, Human Rights Watch reported that 42 percent of the insurgent attacks against civilians were by the Taliban, which was 65 percent of civilian deaths; 12 percent were Islamic State. But for any kind of lasting peace, you need to address the desperation people have in terms of finding work to get food to their families. This desperation is causing many to resort to joining these fighting networks.

“Part of the desperation is also because of the drought. [See piece below.]

“These efforts at lasting peace I think should be done through reparations by the U.S. for all the damage its government has caused Afghanistan. It would probably be cheaper to do that than continue to spend billions on war.

“It should be noted that this ceasefire takes place as the Taliban have been surrounding different cities and even enacting military take-overs for short periods.”

Kelly just wrote the piece “Digging Deeper” for The Progressive: “Rural families in drought-stricken areas watch their crops fail and their livestock die of dehydration. In desperation, they flee to urban areas, including Kabul, where they often must live in squalid, sprawling refugee camps. In the city, an already inadequate sewage and sanitation system, battered by years of war, cannot support the soaring population rise.

“Droughts in other countries have led to violent clashes and civil wars. It’s difficult to imagine that Afghanistan, already burdened by forty years of war, will escape eventual water wars.

“The most sophisticated and heavily armed warring party in Afghanistan is the U.S. military. Despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars on non-military aid to Afghanistan, the United States has done little to improve Afghanistan’s infrastructure or alleviate its alarming water crisis. President Donald Trump’s interest in what’s happening under the ground in Afghanistan is focused exclusively on the U.S. capacity to extract Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, estimated to be worth trillions of dollars.”