In a move that sparked widespread anger among Kabul residents, security forces on Monday morning closed all roads leading to the Presidential Palace and the CEO’s office – which included access to Wazir Akbar Khan and the Green Zone.
Using military vehicles as barriers, security forces refused to allow vehicles to enter the areas - forcing residents to either return home or walk miles to work.
This came ahead of a planned demonstration through the city by the Uprising for Change Movement – which has called for the dismissal of the National Security Adviser, the Interior Minister and the NDS chief.
The demonstration however ended peacefully after two hours.
The roads were closed in a bid to keep demonstrators from reaching the presidential palace. However, motorists and commuters were the hardest hit.
“The move is just annoying innocent people,” Abdul Qadir, a motorist said.
“I walked from Share Naw to Siname Pamir and back from Siname Pamir to Share Naw. All the people have to walk like me,” Omidullah, a resident of Kabul said.
The road closures not only created problems for motorists and commuters, but also caused problems for government and non-government institutions, including schools and universities.
“I am going to school, but the road is closed and I don’t know how to get there,” one school student, Abdul Karim said.
“The move is being organized by some individuals who want to benefit and a number of youths get deceived and participate in the move,” said Sayed Mobashir, another university student.
Meanwhile, Murad Ali Murad, the deputy interior minister said in response to a question on why the roads were closed that: “The president has ordered us to make an orderly security solution and we will focus on anti-riot police,”
This is not the first time that roads have been abruptly closed to traffic in the city center. Last year containers were used to block access to a huge area of the city and last month, military vehicles were also used to close roads during demonstrations.