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UN removes names of 45 Al Qaeda, Taliban affiliates from list

world Updated: Aug 03, 2010 08:59 IST
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The United Nations has removed names of 45 members and organisation associated with al-Qaeda and Taliban from its sanctions list after the firstever review of 488 blacklisted individuals and entities.

The names of those removed from the list include 35 members and organisations associated with al-Qaeda and 10 from Taliban.

"We were able to do the first review after nine years. In 75 per cent of these cases we were able to receive new information," said Thomas Mayr-Harting, Austria's Ambassador and the chair of the Security Council panel that maintains the list.

The 488 names were discussed over 38 meetings.

Mayr-Harting said the 443 names, 132 from Taliban and 311 from al-Qaeda, were confirmed on the list, though a decision on 66 names was still being debated.

"It would be nonetheless unrealistic to expect big movements on the remaining list," said Mayr-Harting, highlighting that 270 names on the list had not been reviewed since 2001.

Under the new rules of the sanctions regimes, the names of everyone on the list would have to be reviewed every three years.

The list, however, continues to suffer from several anomalies including the presence of names of 30 dead people in it. Recently, eight dead people were removed from the list but the process for delisting names of the deceased is slow.

Under the new rules, the names of the dead people have to be reviewed every six months.

"It is not east to get dead people off the list... we have to have convincing proof that they are really dead and also we have to have information on what happened to their assets and this in many cases takes sometime but this is work that will have to continue," Mayr-Harting said, adding there were other entries on the list that lack identifiers, which causes a problem as dozens of people can have the same name.

One positive development, on the other hand, was the appointment of an Ombudsperson to consider delisting requests received from individuals and entities, he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Kimberly Prost, a Canadian who served as a judge of the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as an Ombudsperson in June this year.

The sanctions committee was set up under a resolution passed by the Security Council in 1999. It imposes travel bans, an asset freeze and an arms embargo on any individual or entity associated with al-Qaeda and Taliban.