Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Split UN Security Council urges Taliban to allow travel, aid

A divided UN Security Council urged the Taliban on Monday to honor their pledges to let people leave Afghanistan after US forces pull out, but China and Russia have refused to support the resolution, which they have made. described as deflecting responsibility for the chaos surrounding the US withdrawal.

Sponsored by the United States, Great Britain and France, the measure also calls for the flow of humanitarian aid, the defense of human rights and the fight against terrorism.

“The eyes of all Afghans are watching this advice and they are waiting for clear support from the international community. And this lack of unity is a disappointment for us and for them ”, declared the Deputy Ambassador of France Nathalie Broadhurst after the vote, which Russia and China abstained from.

Yet British Ambassador Barbara Woodward called it “an important step towards a unified international response”.

The vote came shortly before the United States withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan, ending the United States’ longest war, and four days after a suicide bombing at the airport gate from Kabul, at least 169 Afghans and 13 US servicemen were killed. The bombing was blamed on a subsidiary of the Islamic State group.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the resolution would propose a UN-controlled “safe zone” in Kabul for humanitarian operations. But the resolution ultimately called instead on “all parties to allow full, safe and unhindered access” to aid groups.

UN diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, said the resolution involved some compromises but highlighted key points about allowing aid and travel.

The council “expects the Taliban to adhere” to commitments regarding the safe departure of Afghans and foreigners, the resolution said.

The Taliban said they would allow normal travel after taking control of Kabul airport after the United States pulled out, and the United States and around 100 other countries said in a statement on Sunday that the activists had assured that people with travel documents would still be able to leave.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia complained that the resolution was not specific enough on terrorist threats, did not address the “brain drain” effect of the Afghan evacuation and did not address the consequences economic and humanitarian. Washington froze the Afghan government’s U.S. accounts following the Taliban takeover earlier this month.

“This can be seen as an attempt to shift responsibility for the failure and collapse of the 20-year presence of the United States and its allies in the region onto the Taliban and all the countries in the region that will face to the results of that, ”said Nebenzia.

China has criticized the United States for civilian casualties in a drone strike that U.S. officials say hit a vehicle carrying several Islamic State suicide bombers.

Although the Council resolution is intended as a statement of international expectations, it does not include provisions to enforce them. The UN already has long-standing sanctions against various Taliban figures and groups.

Woodward called the resolution a “first response,” noting that the council has the power to lift the sanctions or extend them.

Meanwhile, the UN children’s organization said on Monday it was working to reunite dozens of children and separated parents during the massive and rushed airlift ahead of the US withdrawal.

UNICEF returned seven children to their parents in Kabul on Saturday and reunited with the parents of around 70 other children in other countries, said Hervé De Lys, UNICEF representative in Afghanistan.

Due to conflict, drought and other problems, around 10 million children are now in need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, De Lys said.

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