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Northern Alliance Accused Of Banning Aid Workers - 2001-11-18

The Northern Alliance is refusing to let aid workers return to Afghanistan, according to the United Nations. A U.N spokesman in Kabul says that this includes groups, with which the U.N. works and cooperates.

Aid workers from various non-governmental organizations who left Afghanistan after the September 11th attacks in the United States wish to return to provide humanitarian relief as winter sets in.

But U.N. spokesman Eric Falt says the Northern Alliance has not yet given permission for many of them do so. He says negotiations are underway to resolve the conflict.

On Saturday the Northern Alliance demanded the departure of 100 British troops who had landed at the Bagram Airbase north of Kabul. They were there to provide security for humanitarian aid workers, but the Northern Alliance is suspicious of the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

The conflict was resolved by allowing the British soldiers to stay, but refusing to allow any more troops working in this capacity into Afghanistan.

The United Nations returned to Kabul this week after a 65-day absence and found eight-vehicles and seven radios had been looted.

U.N. special envoy Francesc Vendrell arrived in Kabul Sunday to promote negotiations for a multi-ethnic government in Afghanistan.