UN proposing paying $8.2 million to Taliban for safety in Afghanistan


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The United Nations is proposing to pay almost US$6 million (S$8.2 million) for cover in Afghanistan to Taliban-run Interior Ministry personnel, whose chief is underneath UN and US sanctions and needed by the FBI, based on a UN doc and a supply acquainted with the matter.

The proposed funds can be paid subsequent yr principally to subsidise the month-to-month wages of Taliban fighters guarding UN amenities and to supply them a month-to-month meals allowance underneath an enlargement of an accord with the previous US-backed Afghan authorities, the doc reviewed by Reuters exhibits.

The plan underscores the persisting insecurity in Afghanistan following the Islamist Taliban’s takeover in August because the final US troops left, in addition to a dire scarcity of funds hampering the brand new authorities due to a cutoff of worldwide monetary support.

“The United Nations has a duty as an employer to reinforce and, where necessary, supplement the capacity of host states in circumstances where UN personnel work in areas of insecurity,” deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq wrote in an e-mail in response to Reuters’ questions in regards to the proposed funds. He didn’t dispute the contents of the doc.

Several consultants stated the proposed funds elevate questions on whether or not they would violate US and UN sanctions on the Taliban and their high leaders, and whether or not the United Nations may detect diversions of funds for different functions.

“What it comes down to is there is no proper oversight,” stated the supply, who requested anonymity to debate the matter.

Those underneath sanctions embody deputy Taliban chief and Interior Ministry chief Sirajuddin Haqqani. He heads the Haqqani community, a faction blamed for a number of the bloodiest assaults over 20 years of battle.

The United States, which says Haqqani is near Al-Qaeda, is providing a US$10 million reward for info resulting in his arrest.

The UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) price range is “currently under review,” however the mission “maintains full compliance with all UN sanctions regimes”, Mr Haq stated.

He didn’t reply to a query about whether or not the proposed funds would breach US sanctions.

A US Treasury Department official stated the Taliban and the Haqqani community stay designated underneath the US authorities’s counter-terrorism sanctions program and that unauthorised individuals supporting them “risk exposure to US sanctions”. The official, talking on situation of anonymity, declined to touch upon the UN proposal.

Food shortages, financial collapse

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