New U.N. Sanctions Against Taliban Go into Effect
(Weapons sales banned, bin Laden assets frozen) (570)
22 January 2001
By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent
United Nations -- Sanctions against the Taliban have been tightened after the Afghan leaders did not respond to Security Council demands to turn over indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden to face prosecution.
Bin Laden has been indicted in the United States for the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The trial of four others indicted with bin Laden in the bombings has begun in Federal District Court in New York.
"This morning at one minute after midnight, New York time, the sanctions measures against the Taliban detailed in Security Council Resolution 1333 automatically went into effect, one month after the council's adoption of that resolution," U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said January 19.
The new sanctions include a ban on the sale or supply of all types of weapons and related material into the Afghanistan territory under Taliban control as well as a ban on military assistance to the Taliban. On the diplomatic level, nations are required to close all Taliban offices in their territories and reduce the staff of their diplomatic missions. The sanctions impose restrictions on the movement of the staff who remain.
Nations must also close all offices of Ariana Afghan Airlines and deny flight clearance to planes from or to Taliban controlled territory in Afghanistan, except those approved for humanitarian assistance or religious reasons. The sanctions ban the sale, supply or transfer of the chemical acetic anhydride -- used in the production of heroin from opium -- to any person in Taliban-controlled areas.
Funds and other financial assets of bin Laden must be frozen. The assets of individuals and entities associated with him also are to be frozen.
The sanctions do not apply to non-lethal military equipment intended for humanitarian use, other humanitarian supplies or flights with cargoes of humanitarian supplies.
The sanctions are to remain in effect for one year or until the Taliban comply with the council's demands. If the demands are not met at the end of the year, the council can decide to extend the sanctions.
Eckhard said that the U.N. humanitarian aid would continue as usual in areas where the U.N. is working. But Taliban officials would no longer be allowed to travel on U.N. aid flights.
The spokesman said that some U.N. workers had been withdrawn temporarily after the resolution was passed in December as a safety precaution for fear of retaliation but were gradually returned.
In addition to turning over bin Laden for prosecution, the resolution requires the Taliban to close terrorist training camps and end the provision of sanctuary for international terrorists.
The sanctions are in addition to November 1999 sanctions, which imposed a flight ban on any aircraft owned, leased or operated by or on behalf of the Taliban. The earlier sanctions also froze funds directly or indirectly owned or controlled by the Taliban.
The new sanctions were proposed in December jointly by the United States and Russia out of concern over the failure of the Taliban to comply with the Security Council's demands on bin Laden and terrorism. The sanctions are specifically targeted to affect the Taliban and are not designed to hurt the Afghan people, U.S. officials have said.
(The Washington file is a product of the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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