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Sudan: Security Council must enforce sanctions

Sudan: UN envoy says Security Council must enforce sanctions

The United Nations Security Council must enforce its sanctions against belligerents and human rights violators in Sudan or lose credibility, the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNMIS) said today.

“If even weak sanctions are not going to be implemented, the Security Council doesn’t take itself seriously and they have to,” Jan Pronk told reporters after briefing the Council. “They have to because otherwise the people on the ground are just laughing.”

He also questioned the broader implications of the Council’s mandates going unheeded. “What about a new problem, a new issue, a new resolution in another conflict in the world if parties understand that resolutions are not being implemented at all (and) sanctions don’t mean anything?”

The Security Council, which has tried to end the violence, disarm the Janjaweed militia, end impunity and find a political solution, today discussed two reports submitted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, one on the agreement with the formerly secessionist South and the overall situation across the country and another on the troubled western Darfur region.

Briefing the Council, Mr. Pronk said that although the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of the Sudan and the Southern People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) remained firm, many in the South have become suspicious about the Government’s lack of transparency in reporting the oil revenue that is supposed to be shared.

Added to that issue are suspicions in the north that the SPLM does not want to promote national unity as it prepares for the referendum on separation scheduled for six years after the CPA was signed, he said.

Nonetheless, in the past year, constitutions for Sudan and Southern Sudan have been adopted, two new governments have been formed and all institutions required under the accord have been created.

The unity option should get a real chance when the people vote in the referendum, said Mr. Pronk. “However, the Government in the North should do everything to make this attractive. It can do so by guaranteeing a fair share of power, resources and income to the people of the South for expenditure and investment in water, schools, jobs, agriculture, housing and health care for all those people who were deprived of these decades along.”

On the unrest in eastern Sudan he said, the Government and rebel movements there had agreed to start discussions leading to peace talks facilitated by the UN in the third quarter of last year, but thereafter the UN was sidelined. Parties agreed to Libya as a facilitator, but talks have yet to start.

On another front, the Council president, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania, whose Government holds the rotating presidency for this month, told reporters after the meeting that Chad has alleged that rebels or deserters from its army have crossed into Sudan and have been given sanctuary there while “continuing to cause problems” for Chad.

The Council has not yet received Sudan’s version of the issue, but tensions have risen between the two countries, he noted, and this has had a negative effect on the Darfur negotiations.

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