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UN Security Council deadlocked over Darfur sanctions

[JURIST] The United Nations Security Council [official website] deadlocked Monday over what sanctions [UN News report] to impose in connection with the ongoing conflict in Sudan's Darfur [JURIST news archive] region. The US, Britain, Denmark and France would like to move ahead with action against individuals they have identified as blocking the regional peace process but China, Russia and Qatar have asked for more time before any action is taken. The Security Council last year voted [Resolution 1591 text] to authorize sanctions against targeted individuals responsible for the three years of violence and destruction in Sudan [BBC report] which has resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of refugees. Although UN experts provided the Council with the names of 17 individuals to sanction, China and Qatar have questioned the evidence experts used to identify the names and have called for a new investigation. Russia is concerned about the peace process since Council meetings took place behind closed doors.

February Council President and US Ambassador John Bolton [official profile] stated [press release] that "The purpose of the targeted sanctions mechanism of resolution 1591 is to apply pressure - and I don't think we should be ashamed to say it - to people who are violating the arms embargo, not contributing to our effort to establish an effective peace process in Darfur and restore the deteriorating security situation." Reuters has more.

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