Afghan Taliban revoke months-long ban on Red Cross – The National

Afghan Taliban revoke months-long ban on Red Cross – The National

The Afghan Taliban in on Sunday lifted their ban on the International Committee of the Red Cross, which they imposed in April this year.

The Red Cross, which has been operating in the war-torn country since 1987, was forced to suspend much of its work after the Taliban banned it and the World Health Organisation for “suspicious activities” and breaching agreements.

After months of negotiations, the Taliban said they were restoring “the former security guarantees to the ICRC in Afghanistan and instructs all mujahideen to pave the way for ICRC activities and be mindful of security to this committee’s workers and equipment”.

There was no mention of the ban on the WHO.

Red Cross spokesman Robin Waudo told The National that the organisation was looking forward to resuming work in the country.

“We welcome this announcement by the Taliban,” Mr Waudo said.

“There are major humanitarian needs in the country and we were not able to do as much we could because of the ban on our activities.

“Afghanistan has been in conflict for a long time, and there are a lot of people who needed our assistance and we couldn’t provide it.

“We had to limit our work in rural areas and regions that are hard to reach, where we provide aid and treatment amid conflict.”

He said that the Red Cross also worked with people in detention centres, including Taliban fighters, monitoring their conditions and treatment.

“We reach out to their families and make phone calls, and we couldn’t do that either but now we will be able to slowly restart it all,” Mr Waudo said.

He said the Red Cross hoped to continue communicating with the Taliban “to ensure that aid reaches the remote areas that are under conflict”.

Read full report on The National