We are tired of the conflict say participants of a UN-backed TV series in Herat
HERAT – Participants of a UN-backed television programme in the western province of Herat have added their voice to calls for an end to the conflict and the continuing harm combatants inflict upon civilians across the country.
Speaking during a televised programme on Chekad TV in Herat, panellists representing civil society, religious and provincial authorities echoed Afghans across the country in calling for an urgent ceasefire and a peaceful solution to end the war. They expressed dismay that the conflict is escalating and further harming civilians, including women and children.
“We have peace talks on the one hand, and on the other, more conflict and more civilians being killed,” said panellist Sakina Hossaini, a member of the provincial council in Herat. “We have suffered enough; this war must now stop.”
Another panellist, Mawlawi Abdul Zaher, a religious scholar, said ending the war has never been more urgent, and is the only way to protect civilians. He urged the religious community to intervene. “Ulema must come together to speak in one voice to stop this hostility,” stated Zaher.
In its 2019 Protection of Civilians Midyear Report covering the period 1 January and 30 June 2019, UNAMA recorded 3,812 civilian casualties, of which 1,207 were children (327 killed and 880 injured). The Western province of Herat, much like other provinces, has seen increases in civilian casualties in recent weeks.
Tens of thousands, particularly women and children, have been displaced, cannot access health services, education or engage in employment. These factors exacerbate their marginalization and push them deeper into poverty.
In making their recommendations, panellists restated the views of other Afghans and that of the UN in calling for a ceasefire, dialogue and greater protection of civilians by warring sides in accordance with international law.
Organized by UNAMA regional office in Herat, the TV series of four programmes were aired by Chekad TV and rebroadcast by other radio partners in Farah, Ghor and Badghis provinces, reaching an estimated audience of one million people in Herat and surrounding districts.
UNAMA works with various institutions and individuals, including religious leaders, provincial councils, community leaders, youth groups, women and local media stations to create platforms – using radio, social media and television – for Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.