UN threatens Sudan with sanctions over Darfur

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The Independent Online

The United Nations last night told the government in Khartoum that it risked being hit with international sanctions if it failed to act immediately to end the violence in Darfur and co-operate with the African Union monitoring mission.

The United Nations last night told the government in Khartoum that it risked being hit with international sanctions if it failed to act immediately to end the violence in Darfur and co-operate with the African Union monitoring mission.

A resolution adopted by the UN Security Council spelt out that unless the killing stops, the world body "shall consider taking additional measures ... such as actions to affect Sudan's petroleum sector and the Government of Sudan or individual members of the Government of Sudan". Italso authorises the UN to create a commission to investigate human rights abuses in Sudan and determine whether or not genocide has occurred.

It was not a unified council that delivered the warning, however. After days of diplomatic wrangling, the resolution was passed by 11 votes with four countries abstaining. China had threatened to veto the text, which it said was too harsh on Khartoum.

About 50,000 people have been killed in Darfur and 1.2 million have been forced from their homes since Arab militias began killing, raping and pillaging local farming families and their villages.

Russia, Algeria and Pakistan were the other countries to abstain in the vote. The resolution endorses the deployment of African Union troops to the area to act as a buffer.

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