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From UN Sudan Sanctions Threat, S. Kordofan & Blue Nile Are Distinguished, Qs On Jonglei & Kosti

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 2, updated -- Does the threat of sanctions in the new UN Security Council resolution on the Sudans apply to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and if so, how and how much?

   Inner City Press put this question to US Ambassador Susan Rice, Russia's Vitaly Churkin, South Africa's Baso Sangqu and finally Sudan's Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman and got different answers.

  In the Council chamber after the 15-0 vote, Churkin distinguished the two areas and especially the SPLM-North. As he left, Inner City Press asked him, so the sanctions language doesn't apply to Kordofan and Blue Nile? Correct, he said, calling these internal conflicts.

  Moments later Inner City Press put the same question to South Africa's Sangqu, who distinguished between the paragraph that begin with the word "decides" from Paragraph 4, which by contrasts "strongly urges" with regard to the humanitarian situation in the two areas. The African Union, he said, only wanted Article 41 for the political roadmap.

When Inner City Press asked Ambassador Susan Rice, she emphasized the Paragraph 3 is also about the SPLM-N, and they are listed in the paragraph citing Article 41 sanctions. Transcript below.

  She also told Inner City Press that the "as necessary" concession, that China got, didn't change anything.

  Another Western diplomat told Inner City Press that "of course it's only as necessary, that goes without saying."

  Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, when asked by Inner City Press, said his government might not adhere to the portions of the resolution about the two areas.

  He said Sudan is talking to the Arab League and African Union about this but you can't impose sanctions on this issue.

  Inner City Press asked him about another humanitarian issue, which it asked the UN about on April 30: the 12,000 South Sudanese trapped in the port of Kosti. He blamed their plight on Juba, saying that Sudan had provided seven or 10 vessel which had all be confiscated and put to military use by the South.

   South Sudanese minister Deng Alor was present and came to the stakeout. (Susan Rice twice joked that the microphone would have to be raised for him.) Inner City Press asked him, if he thought the Thabo Mbeki panel process didn't have enough teeth, did this resolution?

  He said that the President Mbeki process had to be enhanced, and this was a move in that direction.

Inner City Press also asked Deng Alor a humanitarian question: is his government's disarmament program in Jonglei voluntary or by force? Recently it's been said that Jonglei "raiders" who don't disarm will be killed. Alor insisted that the disarmament program is voluntary, and that it is going well. We'll see. Watch this site.

From the US Mission transcript:

Inner City Press: In the chamber, Ambassador Churkin said that his understanding is that Chapter VII, Article 41 doesn't apply in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. And outside, he said that's because it's an internal matter. Another ambassador that it makes this distinction between the paragraphs that are "decides" and the one that "strongly urges." Do you see this distinction? Do you agree that somehow this resolution treats SPLM-North and those two areas differently than the North-South?

Ambassador Rice: Well, first of all the entire operative part is under Chapter VII, and there are, if I'm not mistaken off the top of my head, four "decides" paragraphs, including one-paragraph three-which relates to resolving the political issues that are at the root of the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. And we view both Sudan-the government of Sudan-and the SPLM-North as bound by OP 3 of the resolution. You'll also notice in OP 6-where we talk about the potential for sanctions under Article 41-we list not only the government of Sudan and the government of South Sudan but the SPLM-North as potentially subject to measures should they not comply. So I think that answers the question. The Council took its time and was quite deliberate in negotiating and discussing and debating this resolution, and it has come forth with a clear and unanimous set of requirements on the parties and a clear statement of its intentions should the parties fail to comply.

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