Afghanistan: Annan concerned at Taliban's reported detention of aid workers

31 August 2001

Reacting to the Taliban's reported detention of aid workers trying to help the beleaguered people of Afghanistan, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the group to assure the security of humanitarian personnel in the country.

"This action by the Taliban against the aid community could have serious consequences on the provision of international humanitarian assistance," said a spokesman for Mr. Annan following reports that non-Afghan staff of the International Assistance Mission (IAM) have been detained by the Taliban in Herat and in Jalalabad.

Through his spokesman, the Secretary-General appealed to the Taliban to assure the security - and freedom to operate - of all international aid workers in accordance with international law.

The Secretary-General "is also concerned about the order of expulsion given to all international staff of both IAM and SERVE, which may bring to an end their assistance activities in Afghanistan," noted the spokesman. "This aid is desperately needed to address extreme suffering caused by war, poverty, massive displacement, and severe drought."

 

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