29/03/2005
Press Release
SC/8346


Security Council

5153rd Meeting (Night)


Security Council imposes travel ban, assets freeze on those impeding

 

Peace process in darfur, adopting resolution 1591 (2005) by 12-0-3


Says All Parties to Conflict Have Failed to Fulfil Commitments;

New Measures Effective in 30 Days, with Earlier Arms Embargo Reaffirmed


The Security Council decided today, in light of the failure of all parties to the conflict in Darfur to fulfil their commitments, to increase pressure on the parties by imposing a travel ban and assets freeze on those impeding the peace process, committing human rights violations and violating measures set out in previous resolutions.


Adopting resolution 1591 (2005) by a vote of 12 in favour with 3 abstentions (Algeria, China, Russian Federation) and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council also decided that the measures set out in the text would enter into force 30 days from the adoption date, unless the Council determined before then that the parties to the conflict had complied with all the commitments and demands set out in previous resolutions, the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the Abuja Protocols.


The Council also established a committee consisting of all Council members to designate those individuals subject to the measures and to monitor their implementation, and requested the Secretary-General to appoint, for a period of six months and within 30 days of adoption of the present resolution, a four-member panel of experts based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to assist the committee in monitoring implementation of the measures.


Further, the Council demanded that the Government of the Sudan, in accordance with its commitments under the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the Abuja Security Protocol, immediately cease conducting offensive military flights in and over the Darfur region.


In addition, the Council reaffirmed the measures imposed by resolution 1556 (2004), by which States would take measures to prevent the sale or supply of military equipment to non-governmental entities and individuals, and decided that those measures would immediately also apply to all the parties to the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement and any other belligerents in the states of North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur.


Furthermore, the Council deplored strongly that the Government and rebel forces and all other armed groups in Darfur had failed to comply fully with their commitments and the demands of the Council.  It condemned the continued violations, including air strikes by the Government in December 2004 and January 2005 and rebel attacks on Darfur villages in January 2005.


The Council also condemned the failure of the Government to disarm Janjaweed militiamen and apprehend and bring to justice Janjaweed leaders and their associates who had carried out human rights and international humanitarian law violations and other atrocities.  It demanded that all parties take immediate steps to fulfil all their commitments, to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and to cooperate fully with the African Union mission in Darfur.


Speaking after the vote, several delegations regretted that more time was not given to negotiations in order to achieve a consensus text, and that recent developments had not been taken into account.  Saying that the Council had missed an historic opportunity to speak with one voice, which would have given the resolution more weight, Algeria’s representative noted that there had been a consensus within the Council about the need to send a firm message to the parties.  However, the text did not take into account early trends towards a resolution to the conflict and of the reduction in violence.  He regretted that the sponsors had decided to retain the text as it was, and had made no effort to promote the consensus that was clearly within grasp.


The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania regretted that the situation in Darfur had compelled his delegation to vote for the resolution, after waiting months for the Abuja negotiations to resume.  Today, the peace process remained stalled and there was no sign of improvement in the humanitarian situation.  At the same time, he too felt that if there had been more time for the resolution, it would have been possible to find more agreeable language.


He added that the new Transitional Government in the Sudan, to be installed in two months’ time, should not be subjected to a sanctions regime, but be allowed to begin in a positive atmosphere.  The Council should consider reviewing the measures as soon as the new Government was in place.  He appealed to all parties in the Sudan to respond to the Council and the international community by taking a bold and decisive move towards peace in Darfur before the measures voted here today became effective.


Sudan’s representative said he did not deny that the Council should take care of what was happening in Darfur, nor its right to maintain international peace and security.  However, his Government did not wish the Council to take measures that might make the situation worse instead of better.  Noting that the sponsors of the resolution had shown no flexibility, he said the text was a resolution by the United States Congress, which knew neither the history of nations nor the culture of other peoples.


The resolution was against the position of the African Union, which knew the complexity of the situation, he said.  Yet, their understanding had been ignored for the sake of a unilateral resolution.  If some African Union members had voted in favour of the text, it was their sovereign right to do so, but that did not prove that they held the African Union’s position.  The Council had decided to ignore that position, because African culture held neither meaning nor standing with the Council.


Also speaking after the vote were the representatives of the Russian Federation, China and the United States.


The meeting began at 6:13 p.m. and ended at 6:47 p.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1591 (2005) reads, as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its resolutions 1547 (2004) of 11 June 2004, 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004, 1564 (2004) of 18 September 2004, 1574 (2004) of 19 November 2004, 1585 (2005) of 10 March 2005, 1588 (2005) of 17 March 2005, and 1590 of 24 March 2005, and statements of its President concerning Sudan,


Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan, and recalling the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,


Recalling the commitments made by the parties in the 8 April N’djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the 9 November 2004 Abuja Humanitarian and Security Protocols between the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and recalling the commitments made in the Joint Communiqué of 3 July 2004 between the Government of Sudan and the Secretary- General,


Welcoming the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in Nairobi, Kenya on 9 January 2005,


Recognizing that the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement must build on the Agreement to bring peace and stability to the entire country, and calling on all Sudanese parties, in particular those party to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to take immediate steps to achieve a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Darfur and to take all necessary action to prevent further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and to put an end to impunity, including in the Darfur region,


Expressing its utmost concern over the dire consequences of the prolonged conflict for the civilian population in the Darfur region, as well as throughout Sudan, in particular the increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced persons,


Considering that the voluntary and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons will be a critical factor for the consolidation of the peace process,


Expressing also its deep concern for the security of humanitarian workers and their access to populations in need, including refugees, internally displaced persons and other war-affected populations,


Condemning the continued violations of the N’djamena Ceasefire Agreement of 8 April 2004 and the Abuja Protocols of 9 November 2004 by all sides in Darfur and the deterioration of the security situation and negative impact this has had on humanitarian assistance efforts,


Strongly condemning all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Darfur region, in particular the continuation of violence against civilians and sexual violence against women and girls since the adoption of resolution 1574 (2004), urging all parties to take necessary steps to prevent further violations, and expressing its determination to ensure that those responsible for all such violations are identified and brought to justice without delay,


Recognizing that international support for implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is critically important to its success, emphasizing that progress towards resolution of the conflict in Darfur would create conditions conducive for delivery of such assistance, and alarmed that the violence in Darfur nonetheless continues,


Recalling the demands, in resolutions 1556 (2004), 1564 (2004), and 1574 (2004), that all parties to the conflict in Darfur refrain from any violence against civilians and cooperate fully with the African Union Mission in Darfur,


Welcoming the 16 February 2005 N’djamena Summit on Darfur and the continued commitment of the African Union to play a key role in facilitating a resolution to the conflict in Darfur in all respects, and the announcement by the Government of Sudan on 16 February 2005 that it would take immediate steps, including withdrawal of its forces from Labado, Qarifa, and Marla in Darfur, and the withdrawal of its Antonov aircraft from Darfur,


Commending the efforts of the African Union, in particular its Chairman, acknowledging the progress made by the African Union in the deployment of an international protection force, police, and military observers, and calling on all member States to contribute generously and urgently to the African Union Mission in Darfur,


Reaffirming its resolutions 1325 (2000) on women, peace, and security, 1379 (2001) and 1460 (2003) on children in armed conflicts, as well as resolutions 1265 (1999) and 1296 (2000) on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts and resolution 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and UN personnel,


Taking note of the Secretary-General’s reports of 31 January 2005 (S/2005/57 and Add.1), 3 December 2004 (S/2004/947), 4 February 2005 (S/2005/68), and 4 March 2005 (S/2005/140), as well as the report of 25 January 2005 of the International Commission of Inquiry (S/2005/60),


Determining that the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Deplores strongly that the Government of Sudan and rebel forces and all other armed groups in Darfur have failed to comply fully with their commitments and the demands of the Council referred to in resolutions 1556 (2004), 1564 (2004), and 1574 (2004), condemns the continued violations of the 8 April 2004 N’djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the 9 November 2004 Abuja Protocols, including air strikes by the Government of Sudan in December 2004 and January 2005 and rebel attacks on Darfur villages in January 2005, and the failure of the Government of Sudan to disarm Janjaweed militiamen and apprehend and bring to justice Janjaweed leaders and their associates who have carried out human rights and international humanitarian law violations and other atrocities, and demands that all parties take immediate steps to fulfil all their commitments to respect the N’djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the Abuja Protocols, including notification of force positions, to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and to cooperate fully with the African Union Mission;


“2.   Emphasizes that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur, and calls upon the Government of Sudan and the rebel groups, particularly the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army to resume the Abuja talks rapidly without preconditions and negotiate in good faith to speedily reach agreement, and urges the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to play an active and constructive role in support of the Abuja talks and take immediate steps to support a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Darfur;


“3.   Decides, in light of the failure of all parties to the conflict in Darfur to fulfil their commitments,


(a)   to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council (herein “the Committee”), to undertake to following tasks:


i.    to monitor implementation of the measures referred to in subparagraphs (d) and (e) of this paragraph and paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556 (2004), and paragraph 7 below;


ii.   to designate those individuals subject to the measures imposed by subparagraphs (d) and (e) of this paragraph and to consider requests for exemptions in accordance with subparagraphs (f) and (g);


iii.  to establish such guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the measures imposed by subparagraphs (d) and (e);


iv.   to report at least every 90 days to the Security Council on its work;


v.    to consider requests from and, as appropriate, provide prior approval to the Government of Sudan for the movement of military equipment and supplies into the Darfur region in accordance with paragraph 7 below;


vi.   to assess reports from the Panel of Experts established under subparagraph (b) of this paragraph, and Member States, in particular those in the region, on specific steps they are taking to implement the measures imposed by subparagraphs (d) and (e) and paragraph 7 below;


vii.  to encourage a dialogue between the Committee and interested MemberStates, in particular those in the region, including by inviting representatives of such States to meet with the Committee to discuss implementation of the measures;


(b)   to request the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee, to appoint for a period of six months, within 30 days of adoption of this resolution, a Panel of Experts comprised of four members and based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to travel regularly to El-Fasher, Sudan and other locations in Sudan, and to operate under the direction of the Committee to undertake the following tasks:


i.    to assist the Committee in monitoring implementation of the measures in subparagraphs (d) and (e), paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556 (2004), and paragraph 7 of this resolution, and to make recommendations to the Committee on actions the Council may want to consider;


ii.   to provide a mid-term briefing on its work to the Committee, and an interim report no later than 90 days after adoption of this resolution, and a final report no later than 30 days prior to termination of its mandate to the Council through the Committee with its findings and recommendations; and


iii.  to coordinate its activities as appropriate with ongoing operations of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS);


(c)   that those individuals, as designated by the Committee established by subparagraph (a) above, based on the information provided by Member States, the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights or the Panel of Experts established under subparagraph (b) of this paragraph above, and other relevant sources, who impede the peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities, violate the measures implemented by Member States in accordance with paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556 (2004) and paragraph 7 of this resolution as implemented by a state, or are responsible for offensive military overflights described in paragraph 6 of this resolution, shall be subject to the measures identified in subparagraphs (d) and (e) below;


(d)   that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent entry into or transit through their territories of all persons as designated by the Committee pursuant to subparagraph (c) above, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall obligate a State to refuse entry into its territory to its own nationals;


(e)   that all States shall freeze all funds, financial assets and economic resources that are on their territories on the date of adoption of this resolution or at any time thereafter, that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the persons designated by the Committee pursuant to subparagraph (c) above, or that are held by entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such persons or by persons acting on their behalf or at their direction, and decides further that all States shall ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available by their nationals or by any persons within their territories to or for the benefit of such persons or entities;


(f)   that the measures imposed by subparagraph (d) above shall not apply where the Committee established by subparagraph (a) above determines on a case by case basis that such travel is justified on the ground of humanitarian need, including religious obligation, or where the Committee concludes that an exemption would otherwise further the objectives of the Council’s resolutions for the creation of peace and stability in Sudan and the region;


(g)   that the measures imposed by subparagraph (e) of this resolution do not apply to funds, other financial assets and economic resources that:


i.    have been determined by relevant States to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges or for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges, in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets and economic resources and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within two working days of such notification;


ii.   have been determined by relevant States to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee and has been approved by the Committee, or


iii.  have been determined by relevant States to be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment, in which case the funds, or other financial assets and economic resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgment provided that the lien or judgment was entered prior to the date of the present resolution, is not for the benefit of a person or entity designated by the Committee, and has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee;


“4.   Decides that the measures referred to in subparagraphs 3 (d) and (e) shall enter into force 30 days from the date of adoption of this resolution, unless the Security Council determines before then that the parties to the conflict in Darfur have complied with all the commitments and demands referred to in paragraph 1 above and paragraph 6 below;


“5.   Expresses its readiness to consider the modification or termination of the measures under paragraph 3, on the recommendation of the Committee or at the end of a period of 12 months from the date of adoption of this resolution, or earlier if the Security Council determines before then that the parties to the conflict in Darfur have complied with all the commitments and demands referred to in paragraph 1 above and paragraph 6 below;


“6.   Demands that the Government of Sudan, in accordance with its commitments under the 8 April 2004 N’djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the 9 November 2004 Abuja Security Protocol, immediately cease conducting offensive military flights in and over the Darfur region, and invites the African Union Ceasefire Commission to share pertinent information as appropriate in this regard with the Secretary-General, the Committee, or the Panel of Experts established under paragraph 3 (b);


“7.   Reaffirms the measures imposed by paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556 (2004), and decides that these measures shall immediately upon adoption of this resolution, also apply to all the parties to the N’djamena Ceasefire Agreement and any other belligerents in the states of North Darfur, South Darfur and West Darfur; decides that these measures shall not apply to the supplies and related technical training and assistance listed in paragraph 9 of resolution 1556 (2004); decides that these measures shall not apply with respect to assistance and supplies provided in support of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement; further decides that these measures shall not apply to movements of military equipment and supplies into the Darfur region that are approved in advance by the Committee established under paragraph 3 (a) upon a request by the Government of Sudan; and invites the African Union Ceasefire Commission to share pertinent information as appropriate in this regard with the Secretary-General, the Committee, or the Panel of Experts established under paragraph 3 (b);


“8.   Reiterates that, in the event the parties fail to fulfil their commitments and demands as outlined in paragraphs 1 and 6, and the situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate, the Council will consider further measures as provided for in Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations;


“9.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Explanations after Vote


ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria), expressing his country’s profound outrage at the heavy price that civilians had paid and continued to pay in the fratricidal Darfur conflict, said Algeria had supported all international efforts to prevent their continued suffering, particularly the African Union’s approach towards the achievement of a peaceful political solution.  In the political arena, Algeria had maintained permanent contacts with the parties, as well as with African Union Chairman Olusegun Obasanjo and the Abuja process, and had firmly supported the deployment of the African Union mission and the Abuja Protocols.


He said Algeria had contributed military observers and made available heavy-duty transport and equipment to the mission.  It had also provided humanitarian assistance, including 36 doctors.  Algeria was supporting African Union efforts while respecting that organization’s leadership role and was, therefore, gratified by the United Nations decision to send an evaluation mission.  In the spirit of seeking a balanced approach, and taking into account respect for Sudan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Algeria had engaged in the discussions preceding the adoption of the resolution.  While that important document had managed to take the conflict a decisive distance towards resolution, Algeria deplored the fact that it had not achieved unanimity.


There had been a consensus within the Council about the need to send a firm message to the parties, he said.  While supporting that approach, the Algerian and other delegations had proposed a rebalancing of the text to ensure that it contained no ambiguity and had informed the sponsors of doubts concerning the positions adopted by some delegations, particularly concerning the relevance of certain measures and their effect on Sudan’s North-South peace process.  The text did not take account of early trends towards a resolution to the conflict and of the reduction in violence.  Algeria regretted that the sponsors had decided to retain the text as it was and had made no effort to promote the consensus that was clearly within grasp.  The Council had missed an historic opportunity to speak with one voice, which would have had given the text more weight.


ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation) said he was concerned by the continuing complex situation in the Darfur province of the Sudan.  Both sides in the conflict had not complied with the demands of the United Nations.  During the difficult work of negotiating the resolution, the position of his country and that of its partners in the Council aimed at promoting the speedy resolution of that situation, of making the parties aware of their responsibilities to the people of the Sudan and the international community.  The question was how to achieve that objective and not to act to the detriment of the situation.  He was convinced that the potential for diplomatic efforts had not been exhausted.


It was important, he said, to give time to the Government to show itself in a positive light.  The imposition of sanctions was hardly likely to create a positive tone for their compliance.  On numerous occasions, his delegation had noted the need to draw up an effective mechanism to assist the parties in the speedy resumption of talks in Abuja.  The sanctions against the Sudan were hardly likely to promote that.  There were serious doubts about the implementation of the sanctions regime imposed by the Council.  In that context, he had taken note of what was expressed during the discussions on the resolution before its adoption, namely, the holding of a review of the sanctions regime.


Both the African Union and the League of Arab States, he noted, had unequivocably opposed strengthening sanctions pressure in the Darfur context, a view his delegation shared.  Unfortunately, the authors of the resolution did not fully take into account those views.  Therefore, he was not able to support the draft, and was continuing to promote the speediest settlement of the crisis in Darfur.


WANG GUANGYA (China) said his delegation had abstained because it had serious reservations about the text.  The Council’s recent adoption of resolution 1590 (2005) authorizing the deployment of a United Nations mission in southern Sudan was a correct decision to help the Sudanese people achieve peace and, today, as an indispensable part of the search for peace throughout the country, it should have seized the opportunity to urge the resumption of negotiations under the African Union.  However, continuing to exert pressure without considering the complexity of the specific circumstances of Darfur would not help the drive for a political solution.


The African Union had expressed a clear view on that question, which should be taken into consideration, he said, adding that China had always taken a cautious approach to sanctions.  The resolution should support and work with the African Union.  Thanks to the international community, there had been an easing of the violence in Darfur and the situation involved many complex factors.  China, having suggested amendments to the text adopted today in order to achieve consensus and speak with one voice, had failed to meet with a positive response and had, therefore, abstained.


AUGUSTINE P. MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) regretted that the situation in Darfur had compelled his delegation to vote for the resolution, after waiting months for the Abuja negotiations to resume.  Today, the peace process remained stalled and there was no sign of improvement in the humanitarian situation.  The N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement remained fragile, at best.  If there had been more time for the resolution, it would have been possible to find more agreeable language.  Through the peace process and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the present Government was committed and capable of pursuing a peaceful solution to the Darfur crisis.  The installation of the new Government in two months would bring further commitment and experience in the search for a peaceful settlement in Darfur.


Also, he continued, the African Union mission was on the ground to monitor and supervise the ceasefire and provide security to civilians.  It had proved effective on both counts, where it was deployed.  He hoped that the bottlenecks on a more rapid deployment would be overcome.  The increased numbers would make the ceasefire more durable.  The Sudanese Government must have the capacity to provide the required cooperation to the African Union mission.  The new Transitional Government in the Sudan should not be subjected to a sanctions regime, but start in a positive atmosphere.  The Council should consider reviewing the measures as soon as the new Government was in place.  In addition, the measures should not prejudice assistance to the Sudan for reconstruction at the forthcoming donors' conference in Oslo.  He appealed to all parties in the Sudan to respond to the Council and the international community by taking a bold and decisive move towards peace in Darfur before the measures voted here today became effective.


ELFATIH MOHAMED AHMED ERWA (Sudan) said his country did not deny that the Council should take care of what was happening in Darfur, nor its right to maintain international peace and security.  However, the Sudan did not wish the Council to take measures that might make the situation worse instead of better.


Why were the Abuja negotiations still at the same place, not having achieved any progress? he asked.  The other side had been waiting for the Council to use the “stick” so that they could continue what they had been doing, but the more sticks were used the worse the problem would become.  The Council talked of supporting the African Union, but its actions complicated that body’s position.  The resolution’s sponsors knew the situation and that the Sudan had open lines with them, but there were other issues involved, including internal politics and conflicts over the International Criminal Court, that were more important than solving the immediate problem.  Certain pressure groups and “drum beaters” were putting pressure on governments.


He said that during the negotiations the sponsors had insisted on showing no flexibility, justifying that position by saying that the resolution had the support of Congress.  The text was a resolution by the United States Congress, which knew neither the history of nations nor the culture of other peoples.  The resolution was against the position of the African Union whose forces were suffering in the Sudan.  They knew the complexity of the situation, yet their understanding had been ignored for the sake of a unilateral resolution.  If some African Union members had voted in favour of the text, it was their sovereign right to do so, but that did not prove that they held the African Union’s position.  The Council had decided to ignore that position, because African culture held neither meaning nor standing with it and it could impose its own resolutions.  The Sudan held the Council responsible for adopting an unwise resolution.


STUART HOLLIDAY (United States) said that the United States and 12 other members of the Council, including two African States, had voted for the resolution.  Defending the honour of the United States Congress, he noted that many members of Congress cared deeply about Darfur.  They and others in the United States hoped the resolution would contribute to the end of the violence in Darfur and the successful conclusion of the Abuja peace process.


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