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Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism: Afghanistan

Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism

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Case 99-1
US and UN v. Afghanistan (Taliban)
(1999–2002: extradition of Osama Bin Laden)

| Chronology of Key Events | Goals of Sender Country | Response to Target Country |
Attitude of Other Countries | Legal Notes | Economic Impact | Assessment |
Author's Summary | Bibliography |

Goals of Sender Country

United States

United States President Bill Clinton
“The measures taken…will immediately demonstrate to the Taliban the seriousness of our concern over its support for terrorists and terrorist networks, and increase the international isolation of the Taliban. The blocking of the Taliban’s property and the other prohibitions imposed…will further limit the Taliban’s ability to facilitate and support terrorists and terrorist networks.” (USIS, 6 July 1999)

John Bennett, US Consul General to Pakistan
“As long as the Taliban harbour Osama bin Laden and prevent him from being delivered up to a court of justice, Afghanistan will continue to be an isolated embargoed state.” (Financial Times, 5 July 2000, 4)

United States President George W. Bush
In speech before joint session of Congress on 20 September 2001, President Bush demands that Afghanistan immediately hand over Osama bin Laden, all leaders of his network, close down every terrorist camp in the country, and give US full access to terrorist training camps or face US military action. Bush states that these demands “are not open to negotiation or discussion.” (New York Times, 21 September 2001, A1; Wall Street Journal, 21 September 2001, A16)

United Nations

UN Security Council Resolution 1267
”Demands that the Taliban turn over Usama bin Laden without further delay to appropriate authorities….”

UN Security Council Resolution 1333
“Demands that the Taliban comply with resolution 1267 (1999) and …cease the provision of sanctuary and training for international terrorists and their organizations….
“Demands also…the Taliban to turn over Usama bin Laden to appropriate authorities….
“Demands further that the Taliban act swiftly to close all camps where terrorists are trained…and calls for the confirmation of such closures by the United Nations.”

Response of Target Country

Mullah Mohammad Omar, Taliban leader
“American sanctions will not force us to give over Osama…. If Osama finds some place in another country and leaves Afghanistan of his own free will, we will help him and welcome his decision. But our dignity does not allow us to give him up to anybody or throw him out of Afghanistan.” (Reuters, 11 August 1999)

Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, Taliban Foreign Ministry
“They [US, UN] want to change our policies through economic sanctions…. That does not work. For us, our ideology is first, then the economy. To try to change our ideology with economic sanctions is ridiculous.” (New York Times, 19 March 2001, A9)

Attitude of Other Countries

Russia blames Osama bin Laden for provoking terrorism and secession in the breakaway Chechnya republic and supports the US in pushing the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Taliban. (Financial Times, 19 October 1999, 4)

Pakistan, one of the only three countries (along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) that recognize the Taliban, states that they “feel victimized by the Clinton administration’s determination to dislodge bin Laden from the Taliban’s protection. They said they fear sanctions may unleash a new wave of refugees into Pakistan, which absorbed more than 1 million Afghans who fled the civil war against Soviet troops in the 1980s.” (Washington Post, 17 November 1999, A23)

Shamshad Ahmad, Pakistan United Nations Representative
“‘We believe that any new sanctions will further isolate and insulate the Taliban, with whom the world has been seeking to engage constructively, so that their policies can be influenced and moderated….’He said the measures would ‘only aggravate the situation, in terms of disrupting all channels of communication between the international community and the Taliban.’” (New York Times, 8 December 2000, A3)

Central Asian Republics
Concerned about a spillover of Islamic fundamentalism from Afghanistan into their larger region, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, call for a strict implementation of UN sanctions against Afghanistan. (Washington Post, 4 June 2000, A23)

Legal Notes

UN Security Council Resolution 1267
“Decides that on 14 November 1999 all States shall imposes measures set out in paragraph 4 below unless the Council has previously decided…that the Taliban has fully complied with the obligations…. Decides further that, all States shall:
(a)Deny permission for any aircraft to take off from or land in their territory if owned, leased or operated by or on behalf of the Taliban….
(b) Freeze funds and other financial resources, including funds derived or generated from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the Taliban, or by any undertaking owned or controlled by the Taliban,…..” (UN Security Council Resolution 1267, 15 October 1999)

UN Security Council Resolution 1333
“Decides that all states shall: (a) prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer…of arms and related materiel of all types…; (b) prevent the direct or indirect sale, supply and transfers…of technical advice, assistance, or training related to the military activities…; Decides that all States shall take further measures: (a) to close immediately and completely all Taliban offices in their territories; (b) to close immediately all offices of Ariana Afghan Airlines in their territories; (c) to freeze without delay funds and other financial assets of Usama bin Laden and individuals and entities associated with him…; Decides that all States shall prevent the sale, supply or transfer…of the chemical acetic anhydride…; Decides also that all States are required to deny any aircraft permission to take off from, land in or over-fly their territories id that aircraft has taken off from, or is destined to land at, a place in the territory of Afghanistan…under Taliban control….” (UN Security Council Resolution 1333, 19 December 2000)

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