A credible source told TOLOnews that the reason for France objecting to the removal of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s name from the UN’s blacklist has not been clarified, but some political commentators have linked their reluctance to the killing of ten French soldiers in 2013 by the Hizb-e-Islami group.
Three years ago, militants reportedly associated with Hizb-e-Islami attacked a convoy of French soldiers in Surobi district of Kabul, killing at least ten and wounding 21 others.
France, as one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, has power and can veto any resolution.
Last month, the Afghan government in a letter to the UN, asked the organization to lift sanctions against Hekmatyar. However the UN has so far not responded to the letter.
“The Afghan government expects that the UN sanctions committee will soon lift its sanctions on Hizb-e-Islami leadership,” said spokesman for the National Security Council Tawab Ghorzang.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has said it cannot comment on the issue.
“There is the possibility that some countries would have a different perspective on the lifting of sancionts against Hizb-e-Islami leadership, but it is not clear what kind of a decision they take practically when the UNSC meets,” said legal expert Abdul Wahid Farzayee.
In addition, Hizb-e-Islami officials have also raised concerns over what they call a delay in lifting sanctions against Hekmatyar.
“Recently a delegation from the UN sanctions committee visited Kabul and pledged to lift sanctions on Hizb-e-Islami leadership before the Christmas holidays,” said Hashmatullah Arshad, spokesman for Hizb-e-Islami.
U.S, UK, France, China and Russia are the permanent members of the UN Security Council and they have the right to veto a resolution.