UN splits Taliban and al-Qaeda on sanctions blacklist
The UN has split a sanctions blacklist for the Taliban and al-Qaeda to encourage the Taliban to join reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.
Until now, both organisations have been handled by the same UN sanctions committee. The UN Security Council says it is sending a signal to the Taliban that now is the time to join the political process.
Diplomats say the move recognises that the two groups have different goals. Al-Qaeda is seeking worldwide jihad (holy war) while the Taliban are involved in an insurgency focused in Afghanistan.
The council unanimously passed two resolutions – one to set up a new blacklist of individuals and groups accused of links to al-Qaeda and a second for those linked to the Taliban militia.
The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said in a statement that the move sent “a clear message to the Taliban that there is a future for those who separate from al-Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by the Afghan constitution”.
There are currently 138 Taliban and 253 al-Qaeda names on what will now be two separate UN blacklists.
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