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UN splits Taliban and al-Qaeda on sanctions blacklist

June 18, 2011

The UN has split a sanctions blacklist for the Taliban and al-Qaeda to encourage the Taliban to join reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

Afghan leaders want the Taliban to put aside their weapons and join the political process. Photo: AFP, via BBC Online.

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.

Read the rest of this story on BBC News Online by clicking HERE, or on the image above.

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