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No Supply Route Might Mean Disaster for Afghan Refugees

The United Nations relief coordinator for Afghanistan predicts disaster this winter unless the Taliban agrees to provide a safe route to deliver food, fuel, and shelter supplies to the northern Panjshir Valley. Military operations are being carried out in this region of Afghanistan, as a coalition of forces resists the Taliban's control of the war-torn nation.

According to Eric De Mul, U.N. offical, the Taliban has terrorized the Panjshir Valley with executions, forced displacements, and the abduction of women. The Taliban now controls most of the nation, enforcing brutal laws that literally imprison women in their own homes.

In the Panjshir Valley, the 145,000 permanent residents struggle to support the 65,000 refugees who have poured into the region. With only two passes into the valley, and those closed in the snowy season, aid is crucial in this region. De Mul added that the Security Council's recent decision to impose commercial sanctions against the Taliban should not affect humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Media Resources: New York Times - November 4, 1999



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