26 April 2006

Security Council Imposes Travel, Financial Sanctions on 4 Sudanese, Adopting Resolution 1672 (2006) by 12-0-3

NEW YORK, 25 April (UN Headquarters) -- In a Chapter VII action this afternoon, the Security Council decided to impose the travel restrictions and financial sanctions specified in resolution 1591 (2005) on four Sudanese individuals.

By the provisions of resolution 1672 (2006), adopted by 12 votes in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions (China, Qatar, Russian Federation), the Council identified the individuals as Major General Gaffar Mohamed Elhassan, Commander of the Western Military Region for the Sudanese Air Force; Sheikh Musa Hilal, Paramount Chief of the Jalul Tribe in North Darfur; Adam Yacub Shant, Sudanese Liberation Army Commander; and Gabril Abdul Kareem Badri, National Movement for Reform and Development Field Commander.

In resolution 1591 (2005), the Council decided, among other things, that all States would take the necessary measures to prevent entry into or transit through their territories of all persons designated by a Committee established under the same text; that they would freeze all funds, financial assets and economic resources on their territories that were owned or controlled by those individuals, by persons acting on their behalf or at their direction, or that were held by entities owned or controlled by the designated persons; and that all States would ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources were made available by their nationals or by any persons within their territories to or for the benefit of such persons or entities.

However, the measures contained in the resolution would not apply where the Committee determined that such travel was justified on the ground of humanitarian need, including religious obligation, or where the Committee concluded that an exemption would otherwise further the objectives of the Council's resolutions for the creation of peace and stability in the Sudan and the region.

In addition, the freeze did not apply to funds, assets and financial resources that had been determined by relevant States to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for food, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums and public utility charges, or for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services.

Additionally, the freeze would also not apply where assets had been determined to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination had been notified by the relevant States to the Committee and approved by it, or had been determined to be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment, in which case they may be used, provided that the lien or judgment had been entered prior to the date of resolution 1591 (2005), was not for the benefit of a person or entity designated by the Committee, and had been notified by the relevant State to that body.

The meeting began at 1:20 p.m. and ended at 1:35 p.m.


The full text of resolution 1672 (2006) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Sudan, in particular resolutions 1665 (2006) of 29 March 2006, 1651 (2005) of 21 December 2005, 1591 (2005) of 29 March 2005 and 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004 and statements of its President concerning Sudan,

"Stressing again its firm commitment to the cause of peace throughout Sudan, including through the African Union-led inter-Sudanese peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria ("Abuja Talks"), full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 9 January 2005 and an end to the violence and atrocities in Darfur,

"Determining that the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1. Decides that all States shall implement the measures specified in paragraph 3 of resolution 1591 (2005) with respect to the following individuals:

o       Major General Gaffar Mohamed Elhassan (Commander of the Western Military Region for the Sudanese Air Force)

o       Sheikh Musa Hilal (Paramount Chief of the Jalul Tribe in North Darfur)

o       Adam Yacub Shant (Sudanese Liberation Army Commander)

o       Gabril Abdul Kareem Badri (National Movement for Reform and Development Field Commander)

"2. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

Explanations of Vote

Speaking after the adoption of the resolution, KONSTANTIN DOLGOV (Russian Federation) said his delegation did not feel it was possible to support the adoption of the resolution regarding the application of sanctions on four Sudanese persons.  During action on the text, he was guided by positions frequently set out in the Council.  There was no doubt that violations of international norms, including international humanitarian law, should not go unpunished.  However, the adoption of the resolution might have a negative impact on concluding a peace agreement in a timely manner, and would not promote the efforts of the international community to promote peace in the Sudan.  Also, both in the Sudanese context and in broader terms, the implementation of sanctions should be closely linked with the task of assisting and facilitating the resolution of the conflict and ensuring regional stability.

JAMAL NASSER AL-BADER (Qatar) said his country's abstention was based on the fact that, during consultations on the text, Qatar did not find proof that would condemn those persons and justify sanctions against them.  He had requested, several times, to see the proof and to ensure that relevant resolutions and guidelines followed by the sanctions committee were respected.  He felt it was important not to exert influence on the investigations to be carried out by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.  Also, given the positive report of Special Envoy Salim, and given the positive developments in the Abuja process, it was not suitable to adopt this type of resolution at the present juncture, and it would have been preferable to postpone the vote until the end of the Abuja process.  That was why Qatar abstained during the vote.

JOHN BOLTON (United States) said he believed the vote constituted a first step by the Security Council in fulfilling its responsibilities.  It demonstrated that the Council was serious in its efforts to restore peace and security.  Also, far from interfering in the peace process, the resolution would strengthen it.  He regretted that the adoption was not unanimous, but that would not deter the Council from fulfilling its responsibilities.

Council President WANG GUANGYA (China), speaking in his national capacity, said that China had always been careful regarding the adoption of sanctions in the Council.  Past experience showed that sanctions could not reach the expected results and victimized the civilian population.  Therefore, he had abstained on the adoption of the resolution.  More importantly, he did not believe the timing of the vote was right.  During consultations on the text, many members, including African members, repeatedly expressed concerns about the timing.  At present, the African Union-led peace talks were at a crucial juncture.  The Council must assist the African Union in bringing the Abuja talks to a conclusion.  That was the priority for the African Union and an urgent task for the international community, including the Council.

Noting that there was a week's time before the deadline for the conclusion of the talks, he said the Council should focus on the overall political situation and remain on high alert.  It should promote, assist and facilitate, rather than interfere in, the peace talks.  Like other members, he was very concerned about the situation in Darfur, and hoped the humanitarian situation could be improved in the near future.  He supported the role of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) in stabilizing the situation in Darfur, and those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law should be brought to justice.  The proper settlement of the Darfur problem would impact on the North-South peace process, as well as on Chad, the Central African Republic and the subregion as a whole.

In the sanctions committee meeting, he had joined others in requesting clarifications on the inclusion of individuals on the sanctions list.  Regrettably, such information had yet to be provided, and the sanctions committee had forwarded the resolution to the Council. Therefore, China had abstained on the vote.

* *** *