UNSC extended sanctions against Taliban in Afghanistan

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Who: Sanctions against Taliban in Afghanistan
What: Extended by UNSC
When: 21 December 2015

The UN Security Council (UNSC) on 21 December 2015 unanimously adopted resolution 2255 (2015) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The resolution extends and adjusts sanctions regime against individuals and entities affiliated with the Taliban for 18 months.

The council expressed serious concern about the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other violent extremist groups in Afghanistan.
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Highlights of the Resolution
• The travel ban would not apply where the Committee established in paragraph 35 of resolution 1988 (2011) determined – on a case-by-case basis only – that such entry or transit was justified.
• Any exemption would only be granted for the requested period of any travel to the specified location or locations.
• It extends exemption to travel bans and assets freezes as well as language on the need to combat the financing of terrorism.
• Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was taken into account to cut the flow of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities on the 1988 Sanction List
• It encouraged States to share information, establish partnerships and develop national strategies and capabilities to counter the devices.

The council also warned about the increased presence and potential growth of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/Da’esh) affiliates in Afghanistan as some Taliban members had sworn allegiance to that group. At present ISIS has a limited presence at the moment primarily in Nangahar province in the east, but should not be underestimated.

Besides, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) pledged that it would continue its three-track approach to engagement with the Taliban on human rights, on humanitarian access and on political engagement. It says that it would meet with the Taliban and explore entry points to a peace process which can help in ensuring protection of sivilians and rights of women and children.