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UNAMID chief calls for sanctions against Darfur rebel leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur

October 22, 2018 (NEW YORK) - The head of the African Union-United Nation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and Joint Chief Mediator Jeremiah Mamabolo urged the UN Security Council to consider sanctions against a holdout rebel leader in Darfur region.

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Abdel Wahid Al-Nur speaking in a press conference held in Paris on March 6, 2009 (AP)

Mamabolo made his call during a briefing via video conferencing to the 15 member body about his recent 90-day report covering the situation in Darfur from 11 June until 3 October 2018.

He told the Security Council he told the African Union Peace and Security Council on 19 September that all efforts to bring the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), Abdel Wahid Nur into the peace process have so far failed.

"I urged the Council to consider stem action against the SLA leader because, from all accounts, he prefers belligerence and armed struggle to the cessation of hostilities and a political process," he said.

"It is highly unlikely that he would change this position any time soon. The Security Council may wish to consider stem measures against the SLA leader," he further added.

The SLM leader refuses to engage in peace negotiations demanding that the consequences of the conflict be repaired by the government first before to engage in talks to address the root causes of the conflict. The return of IDPs to their areas of origin, accountability for the war crimes and compensations for the victims, are among of his demands.

Recently, in a recent meeting held in Paris on 15 September, Abdel Wahid disclosed he is illegally residing in France without a residence permit saying a revolutionary should not ask for a political asylum.

The Ethiopian Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie supported the request of the Darfur chief mediator saying that the "Darfur rebel groups show no meaningful interest in ensuring peace in Darfur" and called to reconsider

"They are amassing huge benefits from criminal activities in neighbouring states and have no real incentive to pursue peace," Selassie stressed in reference to the reports by the UN panel of experts on Darfur about their participation in the Libyan civil war.

Regarding the leader of the SLM-AW, he commanded the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union for its decision to "seriously consider taking appropriate action against those who continue to obstruct efforts towards lasting peace and security in Darfur".

The Ethiopian diplomat went further to say the PSC asked the Security "Council and the larger international community to follow suit".

"There can be no reason for this Council not to act against this openly belligerent behaviour. Mr Wahid should face the consequences of his damaging and destructive role," he said.

In a briefing to the Security Council on 3 October, the chair of UN Sanctions Committee on Sudan’s Darfur weapon embargo Ambassador Joanna Wronecka said her committee is considering the imposition of sanctions on Darfur rebels involved in South Sudanese and Libyan armed conflicts but did not evoke Abdel Wahid’s case.

Ambassador Joanna Wronecka who is also the chair of South Sudan sanctions committee made her remarks during the quarterly briefing to the Security Council members on her committee’s work, on Wednesday 3 October.

"I also sent a letter to the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts and requested that the Panel prepare and submit to the Committee for its consideration statements of case for the possible listing of individuals and entities that the Panel deems to meet the listing criteria delineated in paragraph 3 (c) of resolution 1591 (2005)," said the Polish diplomat.

However, Ambassador Selassie said h looks "forward to receiving the statement of the Panel of Experts of Sudan and of possible options in this regard".

(ST)