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Sudan Resentful of UN Resolution

Sudan said Sunday it was disappointed with a UN resolution threatening oil sanctions against it unless the government reins in Arab militias blamed for a killing spree in Darfur and ordered an investigation of whether the attacks constitute genocide, adding it was resentful of the world body. 

Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, head of the ruling National Congress Party, also said the UN should be fair and recognize the efforts of the government to solve a 19-month-old rebellion in Darfur.


"The resolution did not give adequate recognition of the efforts of the Sudanese government. Therefore one feels disappointed," he told reporters after a meeting with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum.


"We are going to be resentful and we feel unhappy about the situation. The UN should not be a place where the US can dictate."


A divided UN Security Council approved the resolution on Saturday. The vote was 11-0 with four abstentions China, Russia, Pakistan and Algeria.


China, a permanent council member with veto power, said immediately after the vote that it would veto any future resolution that sought to impose sanctions on Sudan.


"I told the American government that the position of my government on sanctions is a firm one," said China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya. "We always believe that sanctions is not a helpful means to achieve political objectives. It will only make matters worse."


The resolution adopted on Saturday says the council would have to meet again to consider sanctions against Sudan's petroleum sector or other punitive measures if the government does not act quickly to stop the violence and bring the perpetrators to justice or if it does not cooperate with an African Union monitoring force.


The resolution strongly endorses the deployment of a beefed-up African Union force with an expanded monitoring mission that would actively try to prevent attacks and mediate to stop the conflict from escalating. More than 50,000 people have already died and over 1.2 million have fled their homes to escape the violence.


It also authorizes Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was in the council chamber for the vote, to rapidly appoint an international commission to investigate reports of human rights violations in Darfur and determine "whether or not acts of genocide have occurred."


Last week, US President George W. Bush's administration for the first time called the attacks "genocide," a crime punishable under a 1948 UN convention.


Sudan's UN Ambassador Elfatih Erwa said the government would implement the "unfair" resolution despite "the injustices it contains." He accused the United States of introducing it solely to achieve "the political objectives" of President George W. Bush's administration and Congress a charge immediately rejected by US Ambassador John Danforth.


While the American Congress "believes it is the only conscience of the world, and indeed that they have the divine right to decide on the destinies of peoples," Erwa said, millions of people see "the shortcomings and the faults" of the United States.


China's Wang appeared to agree with Erwa, saying some council members questioned the timing of the resolution in relation "to domestic politics."


Bush is up for re-election on November 2 in a close race with Democrat John Kerry.


The United States revised the resolution three times, each time softening language to try to get broader support and avert a Chinese veto.


A resolution adopted by the Security Council on July 30 gave the Sudanese government 30 days to halt attacks by pro-government militias and start disarming them and bringing them to justice.


China and the other council members that abstained in Saturday's vote argued that the Sudanese government had made progress, and that threatening sanctions could antagonize the Sudanese government and end its cooperation with international efforts to resolve the conflict and deal with the massive humanitarian crisis in Darfur.


The conflict began when two Darfur rebel groups with roots in the region's ethnic African tribes rose up in February 2003, accusing the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum of neglect and discrimination. The government is accused of trying to suppress the rebellion.


(China Daily September 20, 2004)

UN Mounts Pressure on Sudan over Darfur Crisis
Darfur Peace Talk in Nigeria Ends Without Progress
European Parliament Calls for UN Sanctions on Sudan
China Seeks Trouble-shooting Resolution to Sudan Crisis
Sudan Rejects Revised UN Resolution on Darfur
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