UN Security Council approves sanctions on Darfur offenders
|Cbc News, 29 Mars 2005|
The UN Security Council has voted to impose a travel ban and freeze assets of people who commit atrocities in Sudan's western Darfur region.
The resolution also tightened the UN's arms embargo on Sudan's government and rebels by forming a committee to monitor its implementation.
The U.S.-sponsored resolution passed 12-0 on Tuesday, with three abstentions: Algeria, Russia and China.
The sanctions will start in 30 days against individuals who will be chosen by a committee made up of representatives from all 15 countries on the Security Council.
UN panel to monitor compliance
The individuals will be those "who impede the peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities," violate prior embargoes or "are responsible for offensive military overflights," the UN said in a statement.
Among its measures, the resolution asks governments to freeze funds, financial assets and economic resources of the designated people, as well as the assets of businesses those individuals might own.
A panel of experts would monitor the requirements through regular trips to Darfur, other parts of the Sudan and to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the African Union – which has troops in Darfur – is based.
The sanctions are fall far short of what human-rights groups and other observers have urged for years for the war-ravaged region – the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force to stop what many consider to be genocide.
Tuesday's resolution marked the latest development in drawn-out efforts by the Security Council to deal with the crisis in Darfur.
Fighting between government-backed militias and rebels has killed about 180,000 in the war-ravaged region, while as many as 350,000 people may have died of pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition and more than 1.2 million have been driven from their villages in the past 18 months alone.
FROM MARCH 15, 2005: Darfur deaths in the hundreds of thousands: UN
The Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on March 24 to send 10,000 peacekeepers to southern Sudan – but the troops won't be going to Darfur.
FROM JAN. 6, 2005: UN peacekeepers headed to Sudan, but not Darfur
The council remains deadlocked over how to try people accused of war crimes in Darfur. Several council members want the cases referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The United States opposes the court because it claims to fear that its political enemies might launch politically motivated prosecutions against U.S. citizens.