In Kabul we live as if we are waiting for “an announced typhoon”, the speed with which so many provincial capitals have fallen “has surprised many”, now the international community is pressing for “real peace negotiations, a lot of time has been wasted, we must act quickly “. This is how Alberto Cairo speaks from the Afghan capital, since 1989 delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan, who with his tireless work at the Orthopedic Center has allowed thousands of people who had lost their legs due to mines to return to walk.
“The atmosphere – Cairo tells Adnkronos – is a bit like the one before an announced typhoon. People are afraid there will be fighting and violence. Many want to leave Afghanistan, they do not believe there will be peace. Sadness. and tension are in the air “. The physiotherapist and writer, author of “Stories from Kabul” and “Afghan Mosaic” then admits that “the fall of the provincial capitals one after another has surprised many: possible fights in Kabul, Mazar and Jalalabad would mean further misery and suffering. . Everyone knows what horrendous conditions the displaced people live in, if these cities are to fall, the Afghans hope it will happen through negotiations. “
As for the Taliban and how they could manage power if they win, Cairo argues that there is “the possibility” that they will behave differently than when they conquered the country over 20 years ago. “Now people can only wait and see what will happen. A behavior identical to the past would be burdensome – he says – For example, prohibiting the right to information and education for women would be very badly tolerated”.
‘All useless when done? Achievements, education improvement, gift that will remain ‘
The ICRC delegate, who was also a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, then talks about what the international community could do, also taken aback by the speed and ease with which the Taliban are reconquering the country a few weeks after withdrawal of the Americans and other military contingents. “We all hope that he will push for real, lasting and inclusive peace negotiations – he hopes – they would all benefit, including the Taliban. Much time has been wasted, we need to act quickly”.
In this phase, he explains, “the commitment of the International Committee of the Red Cross is the same as always, in the medical, water and sanitary fields, defense of humanitarian law, reminding the contending parties to respect civilians, transport and burial of the dead. There is no shortage of work and conditions are difficult “. The fighting is causing a new exodus, he says: “People run away where they can, generally they go to relatives or acquaintances. Many, however, end up in the middle of the road or, if they are lucky, in refugee camps”.
Has everything that has been done in these 20 years been useless? “Certainly no use – says Cairo – Some goals have been achieved. For example, the improvement in education of many and many, a gift to people and to the country that will certainly remain”.