Sanctions left out of Darfur resolution

The United States has dropped the word "sanctions" from a draft UN resolution on Sudan in the face of opposition from the Security Council.

    The US dropped the sanctions tool after intense pressure

    However, Washington decided on Thursday to retain the threat of economic action against Khartoum if it fails to disarm pro-government militias in the western Darfur region.

    The Security Council announced it will vote on the resolution on Friday.

    The changes in the text were made to overcome opposition in the 15-nation Security Council to a sanctions threat that Washington had been pressing for.

    Some members said Sudan should be given more time to end the violence that some have called ethnic cleansing and even genocide.

    The council held closed consultations on the new resolution on Thursday morning.

    Expectation

    Algerian Ambassador Abd Allah Baali, whose country had been among those opposing the previous text, said he hoped for a unanimous vote.

    "At first glance, we feel that we are more comfortable with this text than we were with the other versions," he said.

    The new draft - the fourth revision since 22 July - would still call on Sudan to disarm militias blamed for rampant violence in Darfur.

    "We feel that we are more comfortable with this text than we were with the other versions"

    Abd Allah Baali,
    Algerian ambassador to UN

    It also would impose an arms embargo on individuals, groups or governments that supply either militias or rebel groups there.

    It calls on UN Secretary General Kofi to report every 30 days "and expresses its intention to consider further actions, including measures ... on the Government of Sudan in the event of noncompliance."

    Nomadic militias in Darfur have staged a brutal campaign to drive out sedentary farmers over the last 17 months.

    At least 30,000 civilians, most of them villagers, have been killed, more than 1 million displaced and some 2.2 million left in urgent need of food or medical attention.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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