Sudanese Sanctions Blocked

From the Associated Press

Russia and China on Monday blocked proposed sanctions against four Sudanese accused of interfering with peace efforts and violating human rights in Darfur.

The sanctions, proposed by Britain and strongly supported by the United States, would have been the first imposed by the U.N. Security Council since March 2005, when the body authorized limited sanctions on individuals who defy peace efforts and violate international human rights law in the western Sudanese region.

Russia’s and China’s U.N. ambassadors said the timing of the sanctions proposal could hamper negotiations underway in Abuja, Nigeria, to end the three-year conflict in Darfur, which has left about 180,000 people dead -- most from disease and hunger -- and displaced an additional 2 million.


The Security Council’s sanctions committee on Sudan had circulated the four names and council members had until Monday afternoon to object.

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton told reporters that the United States was prepared to circulate a draft resolution at the meeting that would name the four Sudanese and impose sanctions against them, forcing Russia or China to use their veto power to block it.

“Our view is that these sanctions proceedings have been pending for a while.... We don’t see any reason to delay it,” Bolton said.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Andrey Denisov, urged members to move cautiously.

“Don’t impose more tensions into the issue,” he said.