UN Threatens to Withdraw Aid From Uncooperative Taliban

After Afghanistan’s Taliban regime relocated all private aid organizations to an abandoned and broken down youth hostel outside of the capital, the UN declared that it has lost its patience with the Taliban and will no longer tolerate its lack of cooperation.

“[The Taliban] is an organization that hands out edicts to us that prevent us from doing our job,” said Lakhdar Brahimi, UN special envoy for Afghanistan. In violation of agreements reached between the UN and the Taliban last May regarding humanitarian efforts, the Taliban has subjected foreign aid to workers to unacceptable forced by the Taliban’s version of Islamic law. For example, foreign Muslim female UN workers must be accompanied by male relatives in order to walk around the city.

UN agencies and private relief groups may withdraw necessary emergency and medical food aid to Afghanistan if the conditions do not improve. Brahimi said, “If these conditions are not acceptable my opinion is that we will have to tell the Taliban: You have signed an agreement. You will implement it, or let us go and work somewhere else.”


The New York Times - July 15, 1998

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