Taliban Minister Rejects UN Ultimatum
Taliban planning minister Qari Din Mohammed rejected the UN's warning that humanitarian groups would leave Afghanistan if their working conditions did not improve. He announced that the foreign aid groups have until Sunday to show a willingness to retreat to the delapidated housing to which they were assigned.
"We Moslems believe that God the Almighty will feed everybody one way or another." he said. "If the foreign NGO's leave then it is their decision. We haven't expelled them."
He also warned foreign aid groups that they would be responsible for the reaction of the Islamic Emirate if they failed to follow the relocation order, but did not explain what the consequences might be.
NGOs have been told that they must pay for the repairs of the run-down accomodations, which currently are without running water, electricity, or windows. Repairs are estimated at one million dollars, an amount that aid agencies argue they are unable to pay. Most agencies (60%) plan on leaving the city before they are forced to relocate.
Media Resources: Agence France Presse - July 16, 1998