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UN warns war-torn state of new sanctions

A UNSC committee has drawn attention to the escalating violence in Sudan and called for compliance with an arms embargo

The UN Security Council Committee on Sudan said Tuesday that targeted sanctions could be imposed on those violating international humanitarian law in the country. 

South Korean Ambassador Joonkook Hwang, who chairs the committee, emphasized that violence against civilians in the African state was escalating, particularly incidents of sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur region. 

The committee also detailed violations of the arms embargo and international humanitarian and human rights laws, complex financing schemes by armed groups in the region, and ethnically-driven recruitment by warring factions.

Ambassador Hwang reminded the warring parties and “the Member States who facilitate the transfers of arms and the military material to Darfur” of their obligations to comply with embargo measures.

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The conclusions stemmed from the release of the committee’s annual report for 2023, along with reports from the Sudan Panel on December 22, 2023, and the third quarterly report on February 23, 2024.

Washington’s alternate representative to the UN, Robert A. Wood, voiced concern regarding flagrant breaches of the UN arms embargo, particularly concerning the volume and frequency of weapons transfers “into Darfur from eastern Chad, Libya, and the Central African Republic.”

However, Sudanese envoy Ammar Mohammed Mahmoud argued for the lifting of restrictions, saying that “putting an end to the sanctions would allow the Sudanese government to better protect its civilians and would allow the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) to deal effectively in facing and ending the violations perpetrated by the Rapid Support militias.”

Clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted in mid-April last year. The UN says at least 14,600 people have been killed and 26,000 others injured in 11 months of fighting across the nation.

March 22, 2024 at 08:19PM
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