7 December 2017
8123rd Meeting (AM)

Armed Groups from Darfur Engaged in Illicit Cross-Border Activity, Head of Sudan Sanctions Committee Tells Security Council

With the Darfur peace process stagnant, an expert report said that armed groups from that region of Sudan were engaged in illicit cross-border activity while the Government continued to reposition unapproved military aircraft, the head of the sanctions committee on Sudan told the Security Council today.

Delivering a briefing, Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005), said the wider regional picture of spillover from Darfur resulted from the first joint informal consultations by his Committee with the Libya and South Sudan sanctions committees.  He was briefing on the panel’s work from July to December 2017.

The expert panels assisting the three committees reported the spread of Darfuri armed groups into Libya and South Sudan, where they were engaged in arms trafficking, mercenary pursuits and other illegal activities and were “intertwined with the respective challenges facing those States”, he said.  The committees agreed on the importance of advancing the political processes and strengthening institutional structures in the three countries.

However, he said, a recent report of the Panel of Experts of his Committee showed that no significant progress had been made in the Darfur peace process.  The report explained that the expectations of the Darfuri armed groups exceeded the concessions that the Government was ready to make.  The report also described incursions into Darfur by Darfuri armed groups from Libya and South Sudan in May, in which they suffered heavy losses of equipment and personnel in clashes with Government forces, during which there were also reports of violations of international humanitarian law.  The Panel also observed that the Government continued to transfer military aircraft into Darfur without prior approval from the Committee.

In receiving the Panel’s report — which affirmed positive cooperation with the Government during its missions to Sudan although a finance expert continued to be denied a visa — he said the Committee welcomed the increase in cooperation and several members underlined an overall improvement in the situation in Darfur.  Acting on the Panel’s recommendations to improve implementation of the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze, the Committee sent out messages encouraging those Member States that had not done so to report on their efforts to enforce the measures.

To date, however, he said that the Committee had not received any reports in response to that request, although it was told in October by the Government of South Sudan that it was unable to implement the sanctions due to the current civil war.  The Committee also sent letters urging the Government of Sudan to facilitate the fulfilment of the Panel’s mandate in the best possible way, including the issuance of necessary visas and travel permits in a timely manner.

In response to another recommendation from the Panel, the Committee updated the list entry of Musa Hilal Abdalla Alnsiem in October.  According to a Panel report on its weapons inspection visit in early August, the border guards led by Mr. Hilal had refused to disarm and integrate into the Rapid Support Forces, as progress in the national disarmament campaign had come to a standstill.

The Committee received its final report of the Panel of Experts pursuant to resolution 2340 (2017) on 27 November, he said, noting that it planned to meet on 11 December to hear a presentation of the report and to discuss the recommendations it contained.

The meeting began at 9:50 a.m. and ended at 10 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.