UN Darfur sanctions anger Sudan

Sudan has reacted angrily to a new UN Security Council resolution aimed at punishing atrocities in the war-torn western region of Darfur and vowed it was working to end the conflict.

    Sudan pledged to resolve the Darfur conflict speedily

    The US-sponsored resolution passed on Tuesday was "unbalanced and inappropriate" and "ignored the government's efforts in addressing the political, security and humanitarian aspects of the Darfur conflict", a Foreign Ministry statement said on Wednesday.

      

    The Security Council voted 12-0 to apply sanctions on individuals who commit atrocities or undermine peace efforts in Darfur, where government-backed militias and rebels have been fighting for more than two years.

      

    The resolution allows for the seizure of assets and a travel ban against individuals who commit atrocities, impede the peace process in Darfur or "constitute a threat to stability" in the region.

     

    Sanctions assailed

     

    Khartoum said that despite its objections to the sanctions, it

    will "do everything possible to secure an immediate and comprehensive settlement to the conflict in Darfur".

     

    Rebels may feel encouraged not
    to heed talks, a minister said

    Speaking to Aljazeera, Sudan's Information Minister Abd al-Basit Sibdrat said the UN sanctions would complicate the region's problems.

     

     

    The Darfur issue can be resolved not by imposing sanctions but by offering humanitarian aid, not by banning travel but by providing logistical support, not by threats but by support from the African Union, and not by freezing funds but by offering monetary aid, he said.

     

    "This resolution sends a wrong message to rebels that they need not sit for negotiations with the Sudan government," Sibdrat said.

     

    "It is unbelievable that a sovereign state like Sudan will have to ask the UN Security Council for permission to enter the Sudanese region of Darfur," he added.

     

    Monitors attacked

     

    "It is unbelievable that
    a sovereign state like Sudan will have to ask the UN Security Council for permission to enter the Sudanese region
    of Darfur"

    Abd al-Basit Sibdrat,
    Sudanese Information Minister

    Meanwhile, an attack by unidentified armed men wounded three members of an African Union team monitoring a ceasefire between government forces and rebels in the Darfur region, a UN spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

     

    Radhia Achouri said in Khartoum that two monitors and one Sudanese translator were wounded in the attack on Tuesday in South Darfur.

     

    The AU force, which the UN says numbers about 2000, is monitoring the truce that was agreed in April but is frequently violated. AU monitors have come under fire several times in Darfur.

     

    The area the AU team was travelling through, Khor Abeche, is rebel-held but saw heavy fighting in December and January.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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