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Annan names new member to group monitoring UN sanctions against Al-Qaida, Taliban

Annan names new member to group monitoring UN sanctions against Al-Qaida, Taliban

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has designated a new member of the monitoring group set up by the Security Council to ensure that UN sanctions against the Taliban are enforced, according to a document released today at UN Headquarters in New York.

In a letter to the President of the Security Council, Mr. Annan says that Victor D. Comras of the United States will replace Michael D. Langan, also a US national, who “resigned from the group for personal reasons.”

The team is headed by Michael Chandler of the United Kingdom. Its other members are Philippe Graver of France, Hasan H. Ali Abaza of Jordan, and Surendra Bahadur Shah of Nepal.

The monitoring group was originally set up last July when the Security Council requested that the Secretary-General establish a mechanism – comprised of a New York-based Monitoring Group and a Sanctions Enforcement Support Team – which will offer assistance to “States bordering the territory of Afghanistan under Taliban control and other States, as appropriate.”

The team was initially mandated to help those countries increase their capacity to implement the sanctions against the Taliban, which were imposed in 1999 and tightened the following year to compel the group to hand over indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden and to close all terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Experts were also mandated to collate, assess, verify wherever possible, report and make recommendations on information regarding violations of the sanctions.

In January of this year, the Council adopted resolution 1390 assigning the group the task of monitoring the implementation by Member States of updated sanctions against Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaida organization, the Taliban, and their associates. These measures require all countries to freeze the financial assets of individuals, groups or organizations on a list compiled by its sanctions committee for Afghanistan, and to continue a travel ban and arms embargo on the remaining elements of the Taliban, Al-Qaida network and its supporters.