The United Nations is proposing to pay nearly $6 million for protection in Afghanistan to Taliban-run Interior Ministry personnel, whose chief is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions and wanted by the FBI, according to a U.N. document and a source familiar with the matter.  Experts say proposed funding could violate UN and US sanctions against Taliban leaders

The proposed funds would be paid next year mostly to subsidize the monthly wages of Taliban fighters guarding UN facilities and to provide them a monthly food allowance under an expansion of an accord with the former US-backed Afghan government, the document reviewed by Reuters reportedly shows.

The plan underscores the persisting insecurity in Afghanistan following the Islamist Taliban’s takeover in August as the last US troops left, as well as a dire shortage of funds hampering the new government because of a cutoff of international financial aid, Reuters reported on December 21.

“The United Nations has a duty as an employer to reinforce and, where necessary, supplement the capacity of host states in circumstances where US personnel work in areas of insecurity,” deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq wrote in an email in response to Reuters’ questions about the proposed payments.

He did not dispute the contents of the document.

Deputy Taliban leader and Interior Ministry chief Sirajuddin Haqqani is reportedly wanted by the FBI for attacks against coalition forces and Western interests, including in connection with a January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul that killed six people, including an American citizen.

The FBI is offering a US$10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Experts say that the proposed payments raise questions about whether they violate US and UN sanctions and if there can be proper oversight to ensure that the funds are not directed to other sources.