The UN Security Council powers hope to vote onWednesday on a resolution that could threaten Sudan and South Sudan withsanctions if they do not end their conflict, diplomats said.
UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council powers hope to vote on
Wednesday on a resolution that could threaten Sudan and South Sudan with
sanctions if they do not end their conflict, diplomats said.
China and Russia are leading resistance however to warning of international
action against the rival Sudans, who many countries fear are headed for all-out
A resolution drawn up by the United States calls on the neighbours, which
separated last year, to "immediately cease all hostilities" and withdraw troops to
their own territory, in line with a call made by the African Union.
The resolution would threaten "additional measures" under Article 41 of the UN
Charter, which allows for non-military sanctions.
China and Russia, both permanent members of the 15-nation council with a right
to veto resolutions, traditionally oppose warnings of sanctions. And the resolution
could change before any vote, diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
China in particular has strong trade ties with Sudan and South Sudan.
"This time it is less the Russians and more the Chinese," one senior Western
diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
"If they keep on not liking it, they might abstain. I don't think they will veto," the
There is more pressure on China to accept the resolution as the request for
possible sanctions has come from the African Union.
"It is much more difficult for the Chinese and Russians to say no to an AU
request than a western plan," the envoy added.
Under the resolution, the two countries would have two weeks to
"unconditionally" start talks under AU mediation on their various disputes on
borders and sharing oil revenues, and three months to conclude an accord.
UN leader Ban Ki-moon would have to report to the Security Council every two
weeks on the crisis. If either side has not met the conditions of the resolution, the
council "expresses its intention" to "take appropriate additional measures under
Article 41 of the (UN) charter."
China and Russia are nervous even though no automatic sanctions are
mentioned, diplomats said. "They oppose even the mention of Article 41," one
Speaking after talks with Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti in Moscow on
Monday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country was ready to
support the resolution but no automatic measures.
"Yes, it may include measures of economic pressure. But I would repeat that this
is not an automatic decision, but only an intention depending on how the
resolution is implemented," he told reporters. -- afp