UN approves new Afghanistan mandate, drawing rebuke from Russia
19 March 2022 | 1:01 pm
The UN Security Council renewed the assistance mission to Afghanistan for another year. Russia abstained from voting, calling out the mission's renewal for "stubborn ignorance of the new realities" of Taliban rule.
The Taliban has made face veils mandatory for all Afghan women appearing in public, including those on television. This edict was ignored by presenters on Saturday, but they relented a day later.
The UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, has traveled to China at Beijing's invitation. But the US has raised doubts about Chinese officials giving her "necessary access" to asses the situation.
Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last year, international aid for the country has dried up. The pandemic and the ongoing food crisis have complicated an already dire economic situation. Unicef says that as more families are pushed deeper into poverty, they are forced to make desperate choices, such as putting children to work and marrying girls off at a young age. Our France 2 colleagues report.
The 13-2 vote in favor of the resolution was not enough to secure its adoption as Beijing and Moscow have veto-rights. The US said the rejection means Pyongyang "will feel free to take further escalatory actions."
Activists slammed UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet for her restrained criticism directed at China's leaders after her return from Xinjiang. But Bachelet noted that her visit was "not an investigation."
Afghanistan is heading back to the pre-2001 dark days of the Taliban, and Western powers were naive if they ever thought this wouldn't be the case. That's the view of Heather Barr, associate women's rights director at Human Rights Watch. As women are told to cover their faces in public again and female television presenters are told to do the same, she spoke to us on Perspective about the how the Taliban are rolling back women's rights and what, if anything, the West can do about it. "Life has become a prison for most women and girls," she told us.
The UN says it is the sixth time a peacekeeping convoy has been targeted in less than a month. The West African country has been gripped by a jihadist insurgency for the past decade.
At a UN General Assembly meeting, China and Russia explained their vetoes of a proposal that would have imposed new sanctions on North Korea.
Human rights campaigners say China is committing cultural genocide against its minority Uyghur residents in Xinjiang, where an estimated 1 million to 2 million residents have been incarcerated
According to the United Nations, some 23 million people are suffering from acute hunger n Afghanistan, including 10 million children who urgently need help in order to survive. Since the start of the year, humanitarian organisations have been able to help 8.2 million people by providing food assistance, including emergency food rations and supplements for breastfeeding mothers and their infants. But this aid is dwindling fast and the situation, which has continually worsened since the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, is reaching a critical stage. Our team reports from Herat, in north-western Afghanistan.
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