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5 TALIBAN REMOVED FROM U.N SANCTIONS LIST

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Five a former Taliban leaders have been removed, on Friday 07/30/2010, from a United Nations Security Council sanctions list (see also – UN 01.27.10 ).

They include a former Taliban envoy to the UN, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad Awrang, and Abdul Salam Zaeef (pic), author of the book ‘My Life with the Taliban’.   

The other de-listed men are former deputy health minister Abdul Satar Paktin and two now-deceased officials. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been seeking such a move in order to ease reconciliation talks with insurgents (see – Jirga 06.05.10).

The decision to release the five from an asset freeze and travel ban was taken as part of an overall review of the UN sanctions list, which includes about 500 individuals and entities allegedly linked to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

The Afghan government has recently been pressing for the removal of more Taliban names. However, diplomats say the five announced on Friday stem from old requests made about five years ago. 

All 15 members of the Security Council have to approve any decision to delete names from the list. Diplomats say Russia in particular has been reluctant, worried about drug trafficking in the region linked to the Taliban and about possible connections between the Taliban and Islamist militants in Chechnya.

It has to be demonstrated that candidates for de-listing have renounced violence and any links to Al Qaeda and accepted the Afghan constitution. Diplomats say more names may be struck off the list in the coming weeks and months.  

* According to sources in Afghanistan, on Monday 04/09/2012, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef fled the country to the Gulf Emirates allegedlly after US troops attempted to raid his home in Kabul. A spokesman for the US-led NATO-ISAF said they were unaware of the alleged raids. “ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] and US forces have no records of ever visiting Mr Zaeef or his residence,” Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan said to reporters, It is most likelly that Abdul Salam Zaeef actually fled the Taliban who are hunting down anyone they supected to be a colaborator with the Americans, Hamid Karzai’s regime and especially those who are involved in the virtual peace process (see – Mohammad H. Munib).

Other sources said Abdul Salam Zaeef’s migration to the UAE, in late 03/2012, was, supposedlly, aimed at playing his role to arrange peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government (see – Enigmatic-Peace).

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