Ms Lyons further reminded the Security Council that the new government “contains many of the same figures who served in the Taliban leadership from 1996 to 2001.”
“What is of immediate and practical importance to those around this table is that of the 33 names presented, many are on the United Nations sanctions list, including the Prime Minister, the two Deputy Prime Ministers and the Secretary of State,” he continued. they. referring to the first 33 appointments, including many of the most powerful positions.
Figures who feature prominently on sanctions lists, or are labeled as terrorists by the United States government, include Interim Secretary of the Interior, Sirajuddin Haqqani, and Interim Secretary of Defense, Muhammad Yaqoub, son of Mullah Omar. , the founder of the Taliban.
Both those men and several others — including the head of government, Mullah Muhammad Hassan, who was another founding member of the Taliban in 1994 — are either first-generation Taliban or the children of that generation. The Haqqani family network was not originally part of the Taliban, but over the years it grew in importance in the insurgency — Sirajuddin Haqqani was a deputy leader as of 2015 — even as they competed for business and recognition in conservative jihadist circles .
Less visible and vocal so far have been the Taliban who have been at the center of talks with the United States and other foreign governments. Although Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, he was not very present in these early weeks of the Taliban rule. The United States had specifically urged his participation in the negotiations leading to the withdrawal of the US military, which he led on the side of the Taliban.
So far, no government has formally recognized the Taliban, although the subject is up for debate as individual countries try to determine how to do business with Afghanistan and also consider sending humanitarian aid to a country in deep crisis. In the 1990s, when the Taliban were last in power, only three countries recognized them: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The sanctions against individual Taliban members who are now leaders of key ministries, as well as the freeze on the country’s assets in the United States, could make it difficult for the Afghan government to receive donor money from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank and through the United Nations.
It also makes it virtually impossible for any country that does business with the United States to also do business with Afghanistan without risking being hit by the United States’ secondary sanctions regime, which punishes those who give money or valuables to governments or individuals on the US sanctions list.