The United Nations bans travel to Taliban education officials

The United Nations banned the travel of two Taliban officials responsible for education on Monday, in a punitive response to the strict restrictions imposed by the intransigent Islamist movement on Afghan women and girls, diplomats said.

The United Nations has decided to extend an exemption from the travel ban imposed on Taliban officials, to be renewed every three months, to allow them to meet officials from other countries abroad. And on Monday the exemption from which 15 Taliban officials had benefited expired.

However, the United Nations has decided to exclude the interim Deputy Minister of Education, Saeed Ahmed Shedkhil, and the Acting Minister of Higher Education, Abdul-Baqi Basir Ool Shah, known as Abdul-Baqi Haqqani, from the exemption, according to reports. reported by a revealed diplomatic source, who refused to be identified.

And these two ministers are now barred from traveling abroad, in the United Nations’ first punitive response to the measures imposed by the intransigent Afghan movement since its return to power last August, in notably the imposition of severe restrictions on girls’ education and women’s work.

“This decision is simplistic and unfair. Decisions like this will only make the situation worse,” said Lutfullah Khairkhwa, deputy minister of higher education in the Taliban government.

The decision was issued by the UN Sanctions Committee in charge of the Afghanistan file, which includes representatives of the Security Council member states.

After arduous discussions among the representatives of the council member states, it was decided to extend the exemption from the travel ban of 13 Taliban officials for a period of “60 days + 30 days”, according to diplomats.

In light of the evolution of the situation in Afghanistan, several countries have advocated a clear and explicit cancellation of any travel ban exemptions imposed on Taliban officials. But other countries closer to Afghanistan have refused to take a hard line, according to diplomats.

Under the agreement, the exemption of 13 Taliban officials from the travel ban will be extended for a third month, “unless a council member objects,” according to a diplomatic source.

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