T he Taliban have rejected the findings of a leaked UN report which includes allegations that since taking over the country, the group has killed over 100 former Afghan government members, security personnel, and people that worked or cooperated with foreign forces. Taliban leadership say the group was strictly adhering to its “forgiveness decree and that no one will be allowed to carry out such atrocities in violation of the order”. The report, however, claims that the UN has received “credible allegations of killings, enforced disappearances, and other violations”.
Since the full report is not publically available yet, we must look at its reported contents with caution. It also does not help that the allegations appear to be second-hand, or that the same report also suggests that the Taliban have killed at least 50 Daesh fighters “extrajudicially” in recent weeks. Afghanistan has been unable to pay police and other government officials since western sanctions locked up all of the country’s funds and aid. In this context, it is interesting that the UN appears to believe that capturing members of the world’s most dangerous terrorist group is somehow a viable option.
The report also appears to be conflating many ‘lesser’ problems in the lawless and famine-stricken country, including restrictions on the right to protest and reductions in women’s sociopolitical freedoms. The report also makes the odd claim that the Taliban are to blame for the economy collapsing, ignoring the fact that the only thing keeping it alive for two decades was foreign funding. The reality is that, however legitimate critique of the Taliban’s social policies may be, responsibility for the economic collapse and famine conditions lie entirely with the US and EU, which cut off all funding and support.
Despite a UN Security Council resolution to allow some aid through, action on the ground has been almost invisible, as Washington continues its long-running policy of ravaging countries and then refusing to pay for the cleanup. You break it, you buy it — unless you are the US military.