UN Security Council divided over Taliban leaders' travel bans

UN Security Council divided over Taliban leaders' travel bans

A meeting between a Taliban delegation and Western diplomats in Oslo (Archives)

The United Nations (UN) Security Council is not reached an agreement on travel permits for 13 Taliban officials who currently rule Afghanistan, so that they expired at midnight on Friday.

UN diplomats said Russia and China wanted to allow the 13 officials to continue to travel while the US and Western countries were determined to reduce their travel in protest at the failure of the Taliban to form a government that respects human rights, including women's rights, as he had promised.

Russia and China asked for more time Friday night to consider the latest US proposal, Security Council diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because those discussions are private.

Thus, the travel ban will be reinstated for the 13 Taliban leaders until Monday afternoon at the earliest, when Russia and China must respond to the American proposal.

Dozens of Taliban members have been on the UN sanctions blacklist for years, subject to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an embargo on weapons. But some Taliban officials have won waivers so they can travel to participate in talks aimed at restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, when US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces were in the final stages of their chaotic withdrawal from the country after 20 years, no less than 700 people were killed and 1400 were injured.

Since then, security has improved somewhat, according to a report released last month by the United Nations Political Mission in Afghanistan. However, this report highlights that women have been deprived of many of their fundamental rights, that they do not have access to secondary education and that their movements are subject to restrictions. limitations.

In June, the Security Council committee overseeing Taliban sanctions banned two Taliban officials from travel in response to their crackdown on women. Said Ahmad Shaidkhel, Acting Deputy Minister of Education, and Abdul Baqi Basir Awal Shah, also known as Abdul Baqi Haqqani, Acting Minister of Higher Education, were targeted by this prohibition.

As the expiration of travel authorizations for the remaining 13 Taliban officials nears, the United States proposed on Thursday to impose the travel ban on seven of them and to maintain clearance for six others, but limiting their travel to Qatar, where talks between the United States and the Taliban have taken place, according to council diplomats.

Russia and China have made a rival proposal that the 13 Taliban leaders would be given 90-day travel authorization, but only to Russia, China, Qatar and countries in the region, diplomats said.

Russia and China opposed the US proposal while the UK, France and Ireland opposed the Russian-Chinese proposal, insisting that travel authorization cannot be maintained for the 13 officials due to the Taliban's lack of progress in meeting their commitments to women, the formation of a human rights-respecting government the person and other thoughts.

On Friday afternoon the United States revised its proposal which provides for the banning of travel for seven of the Taliban leaders and the maintenance of travel authorization for another six for 90 days, with no geographical limits, according to diplomats.

Russia and China are currently studying this proposal.

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