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UN says world will ‘scrutinize’ Taliban actions

Taliban fighters stand guard along a street in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP)
Taliban fighters stand guard along a street in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

GENEVA — The United Nations is urging the Taliban to keep its “promises,” including its pledges to grant amnesty to former government workers in Afghanistan, show inclusiveness for women and allow girls to remain in school.

“The Taliban have made a number of statements that on the surface are reassuring,” UN human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville tells reporters in Geneva. “But their actions speak deeper than words, and it’s very early now – it’s very fluid.”

Colville says the Taliban’s promises “need to be honored.”

“Understandably, given their past history, these declarations have been greeted with some skepticism,” Colville adds. “Nevertheless, the promises have been made, and whether or not they are honored or broken will be closely scrutinized.”

He also calls on UN member states to “use their influence” with the Taliban to protect civilian lives.

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