Taliban lifts ban on Red Cross in Afghanistan | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

16 October, Wednesday


Taliban lifts ban on Red Cross in Afghanistan

The Red Cross has fully resumed operations in Afghanistan after the Taliban said it had agreed to "new promises in humanitarian aid." The militants also pledged security guarantees for aid workers.

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The Taliban on Sunday rescinded a ban it had imposed in April on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan, Deutsche Welle reports.

In a statement, the Islamist militia said the ICRC "consented to following the old agreement on top of new promises in humanitarian aid," and that aid workers were permitted to "resume their activities."

The Taliban also vowed to "restore security guarantees" for the ICRC's workers and equipment and "pave the way" for the aid group's activities.

Aid workers in Afghanistan have been frequently targeted by militias while operating in the war-torn country.

"We welcome the acknowledgment of our humanitarian principles and renewal of security guarantees," Schaerer Juan-Pedro, head of ICRC in Kabul, said on Twitter.  

In April, the Taliban banned both the ICRC and the World Health Organization (WHO) from operating in Afghan regions under the Islamist militia's control. Security guarantees were also revoked. 

The Taliban accused the ICRC of "suspicious" activities during vaccination campaigns and of failing to monitor conditions in Afghan jails and provide medical aid to Taliban prisoners.

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