Press release 1.3.2017 Civil March for Aleppo
On March 4th, the Civil March for Aleppo will cross the border between Slovenia and Croatia. The peace march for Syria has so far traversed more than 1,000 kilometres by foot through different European countries, highlighting the humanitarian needs on the ground in Syria as well as of those seeking refuge in Europe.
According to the original plan, the Civil March for Aleppo was to advance from Slovenia to Croatia and Serbia, but organisers changed the route recently so that the march will now cross the border from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The change comes due to a bigger action planned in Sarajevo for the third week of March, which will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the siege of the city, remembering one of the longest sieges known in modern warfare that lasted from 1992 to 1996. “This symbolic is really important for us. We want to draw this parallel in history and talk on the spot with people who know what it means to live under siege”, says Anna Alboth, the Polish initiator of the march.
For more than two months now the Civil March Aleppo, a civil-led peace initiative, has been advancing from one European country to another – by foot. More than 2,000 people already participated in the march and at the different events that took place along the route, making it the first major European solidarity movement for Syrian civilians.
In the first months of 2017 the Syrian war continues with heavy fighting in rural Aleppo, rural Damascus, Al-Bab, Ar-Raqqa and Deirez-Zor. The ground fighting and airstrikes cause continued displacement of hundreds of families every week while humanitarian aid still faces limited access to many areas. Estimated 43 communities in Syria are still facing severe restrictions, 20 of which are classified by the UN as besieged and 23 as hard to reach areas.
The march has not only highlighted the humanitarian situation in Syria to a European public, but also the needs of refugees arriving to the continent. Before crossing from Slovenia to Croatia, the march will for instance walk for several days along the border fence until Dobova, which now blocks a route that previously thousands of refugees used to cross into Central Europe.
The Civil March for Aleppo started on December 26, 2016 in Berlin and has since traversed by foot Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia. An online crowdfunding campaign gathered 25,000 euros to help support the march and for a donation that will be made to refugee aid in the Balkans. The march is estimated to arrive in Syria in late summer 2017.
“The march has developed into a platform where people come together to learn more about the situation in Syria, as well as to find ideas for action in their home towns”, Anna Alboth describes. She says that already more than 26 nationalities were represented at the march. “People come here also to learn how to use their skills best either to support the march or to do something for Syria. It gives every participant a feeling of empowerment.”
Members of the press are invited to also walk with the march. Find out more about the route on the website:
Press officer Sebastian Olényi: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +49-163-7653694
Number for march phone: +43 677 62424686
Civil March for Aleppo