Home | News    Sunday 19 September 2004

Algeria explains abstention on Security Council Sudan vote

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Abdallah Baali

ALGIERS, Algeria, Sep 19, 2004 (PANA) — Algeria’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Abdallah Baali, has said that the North African country abstained from voting on a Security Council resolution last week because the text was not fair to the Sudanese government.

The 15-member Security Council resolution on the war-scarred
Darfur, Sudan was adopted by 11 votes for and four abstentions
(Algeria, China, Pakistan, and Russia).

It includes possible sanctions, not only in case of non-
compliance with the Security Council’s resolution, but also in
case of non-cooperation with the African Union (AU).

The Algerian diplomat told journalists Saturday that the text
"does not really do the Sudanese government justice", hence his
country abstained from voting on the resolution.

He said the resolution also calls for an international commission
to probe an alleged genocide in Sudan, while for humanitarian
reasons, the UN had put aside the issue to allow the humanitarian
aid and AU efforts for a political solution, to proceed smoothly.

According to Baali, "additional flexibility could have helped the
Security Council reach a compromise on the Darfur crisis and
allow it to speak with one voice whenever a similar tragedy like
the Darfur crisis urges us to intervene."

Besides, the Algerian diplomat observed that the text of the new
resolution gives a "leading" role to the AU and jettisoned some
measures that could have been "unacceptable" to Sudan as a
sovereign state, like the unrestricted flights over its
territory.

He, however, stressed that Algeria was monitoring with "extreme
attention" and "great concern" the situation in Darfur and its
consequences on the civilian population now facing an
unprecedented humanitarian disaster.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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