April 25, 2006 (UNITED NATIONS) — The United States said it was likely to call for a vote Tuesday on a resolution to impose the first-ever sanctions on participants in the Darfur conflict in western Sudan, despite opposition from Russia and China.
- Sudanese welcome U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (not in photo) in Kalma Camp in south Darfur May 28, 2005. (Reuters).
The two nations reiterated Monday that sanctions on the four men could complicate peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria to end the three-year conflict in Darfur which has caused about 180,000 deaths — most from disease and hunger — and displaced 2 million people. The African Union, which is mediating the talks, has set an April 30 deadline for a peace deal.
If approved, the sanctions would be the first imposed by the U.N. Security Council since it adopted a resolution in March 2005 authorizing an asset freeze and travel ban on individuals who defy peace efforts, violate international human rights law, or are responsible for military overflights in Darfur.
"We very well could vote tomorrow," Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said Monday evening.
When asked whether they would veto the resolution or abstain, Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Konstantin Dolgov and China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said they had not yet received instructions.