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Taliban say there’s no obstacles for UN work in Afghanistan

The Taliban has barred female Afghan staffers from reporting to work at the UN mission in the country, prompting condemnation from the UN, which deemed the decision unlawful and a violation of women’s rights. The Taliban’s chief spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied any responsibility for Afghanistan’s crises and claimed there are no obstacles for the UN to function in the country. The UN has instructed its national staff, both male and female, to stay at home, while Roza Otunbayeva, head of the UN’s mission in the country, has announced an “operational review period” until May 5 in response to the ban. It remains unclear how the UN will respond, but the body warned that its operations in the country are also under threat from severe funding shortages, putting millions of lives at risk.

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