9128th Meeting (AM)

Sanctions Regime on Sudan There to Bring Peace, Not Punish Country, Chair of 1591 Committee Tells Security Council

The sanctions regime on Sudan was established solely to help bring peace to Darfur and not to punish the country, the head of the 1591 Sanctions Committee emphasized to the Security Council as he presented his quarterly update today.

Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, briefed the 15-nation organ on its activities for the period from 22 June to the present day.

On 19 August, the Committee received the interim report of the Sudan Panel of Experts and heard its update on the gradual implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, the regional situation and the violence in Darfur.  The Committee is currently considering the Panel’s recommendations, he said, noting that on 24 August, the Committee issued a press release about that briefing.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the sanctions regime was established for the sole purpose of helping to bring peace to Darfur.  It is not to punish Sudan, but to support the attainment of sustainable peace,” he said, reaffirming the Committee’s commitment to work with Sudan and all relevant stakeholders to make this a reality.

Al-Harith Idriss al-Harith Mohamed (Sudan), said the sanctions imposed on his country are no longer consistent with the reality on the ground in Darfur which has been able to overcome a state of war and its prior security and political challenges.  Although the international community has not honoured its pledges towards the peace process, his Government is committed to addressing remaining challenges, such as intermittent communal clashes, he said, pointing out such violence can occur in any country regardless of its status or location.

Further, those conflicts are being addressed through transitional dispute‑settlement mechanisms, he continued.  Over the past few weeks, reconciliation meetings between tribes in West and South Darfur have taken place under the auspices of the Vice-President of the Sovereign Council and have been successful in addressing disputes over land, and the return of refugees and displaced people to their villages.

He called on the international community to support the implementation of the peace accord with the necessary financial and technical resources.  Thanking countries that have supported those efforts, he highlighted the graduation of the first batch of 2000 Joint Security Keeping Forces.  “The full strength of the Force would be 12,000 elements — 50 per cent of whom are Government forces and 50 per cent who are former armed movement members,” he added.

It is disappointing that negotiations among Council members on setting benchmarks and targets have stalled for the second time, he said, pointing out that they were supposed to have been concluded by the end of August.  “These sanctions cannot go on for 17 years without an objective assessment, or a comprehensive review of the benchmarks,” he emphasized, underscoring that those benchmarks must be realistic, actionable and measurable.

Maintaining those sanctions would lead to a deviation from its objectives, he said, adding that it led him to wonder about the unstated goals of such sanctions.  Moreso, consensus on the request by Sudan was within reach for the first time since the imposition of the sanctions had it not been for the sudden suspension by the file’s sponsors, he pointed out.  Sudan is ready to work with Council members who are willing to objectively assess those punitive measures to reach practical, realistic and actionable benchmarks to review those sanctions, he stressed.

For information media. Not an official record.