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Taliban lift ban on Red Cross operations in Afghanistan


Kabul, September 15 (IANS): The Taliban on Sunday lifted a ban it imposed on operations conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan after five months.



In a statement, the militant group said that it made the decision to lift the ban following the peace negotiations in Qatar, Efe news reported.



"Both parties consented to follow the old agreement, on top of new promises in humanitarian aid leading to the Islamic Emirate granting ICRC permission to resume their activities," the Taliban said.



The insurgents explained that "a number of issues with the quality and quantity" of the ICRC's activities had led them to implement the ban in the first place.



"With the publication of this statement, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan restores the former security guarantees to ICRC in Afghanistan and instructs all Mujahideen to pave the way for ICRC activities," they added.



When the ban was announced in April, the ICRC said that thousands of Afghans affected by the longtime conflict would be deprived of essential humanitarian aid provided by the organization.



The ICRC and the Taliban have often engaged in a verbal tug-of-war and clashed on several occasions over the past few years.



The militants previously suspended the ICRC's activities in October 2018 for two months.
 

 

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