UN envoy says Afghan workers continue to be harassed since Taliban takeover

The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan earlier this month. (file)

Afghan staff at the United Nations have continued to be harassed and threatened since the Taliban came to power last month, UN special envoy on Afghanistan Deborah Lyon said on Thursday.

Lyons told the Security Council that the UN complex was highly respected, although there were exceptions.

Lyons said, “We … are concerned by the increasing incidents of harassment and intimidation against our national employees. We will continue to do everything we can to support our employees and protect them from harm.”

An internal UN security document seen by Reuters on August 25 described dozens of incidents from August 10, including hidden threats, looting of UN offices and physical abuse of employees, shortly before the Taliban came to power.

Lyons said on Thursday, “The United Nations cannot do its job – the job that is so vital to the Afghan people – if its personnel are intimidated, fearing for their lives and not able to move freely.” “

While Islamist militants have tried to reassure Afghans and Western powers that they will respect the rights of the people, reports of retaliation have undermined confidence.

“We are outraged by reports that Taliban members are engaged in retaliation against UN staff across the country. This is unacceptable,” senior US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis told the Security Council.

He called on the Taliban to respect the independence and neutrality of the United Nations

He also said that the United States has heard reports that some female UN employees and female employees of US aid partners have been banned from coming into office or required to enter their workplaces with a male mentor. Is.

DeLaurentis said, “It would be an understatement to call these reported incidents ‘outrageous’. All UN staff members should be able to do their jobs without burden and without discrimination.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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