SUDAN WATCH: China, Russia Reject U.S. Bid to Impose UN Sanctions on Sudan

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

China, Russia Reject U.S. Bid to Impose UN Sanctions on Sudan

What a farce. China, Russia and the US are at it again. This time the charade is played by decision making Deputy Ambassadors. Here's an excerpt from the latest via Bloomberg [bear in mind the peacekeepers won't be fully deployed for another 6 months]:

"The US yesterday gave permanent members of the Security Council elements of a resolution that would establish a peacekeeping force in [southern] Sudan of up to 10,000 troops and place an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze on government officials. Deputy Ambassador Stuart Holliday said a draft resolution might be circulated this week.

China and Russia rejected a new US bid to impose UN sanctions on Sudan for failing to end assaults on villagers in Darfur, saying any action should follow deployment of a UN peacekeeping force and formation of a coalition government in Khartoum.

The UN today received a report that eight villages in Darfur were burned to the ground on Jan. 21.

The US wants to increase pressure on Sudan's government following its Jan. 9 agreement to end a 22-year civil war with the SPLM and form a coalition government.

"We want to build on the momentum of the agreement," Konstantin Dolgov, Russia's deputy UN ambassador said. "We have to encourage both sides, not penalize them. We are heading toward a new government. New people will be there. They have to have some time to deliver.''

Russia will support the peacekeeping mission, according to a government statement that said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today called UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to say Russia was "willing to participate." Annan is to report to the Security Council this week on his recommendations for the size and mandate of the UN force that would monitor the peace accord.

Chinese Deputy Ambassador Zhang Yishan said that, while his government also supports the peacekeeping mission, China has a "problem" with imposing sanctions. "We want to move forward one step at a time," Zhang said.

China and Russia have blocked U.S. efforts to impose sanctions on Sudan for the past six months. As permanent Security Council members, along with France, the U.K. and U.S., they have the power to veto any measure.

The Security Council has adopted two resolutions in that time threatening the Sudanese government with sanctions for failing to disarm and disband the Janjaweed.

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