The Security Council today extended until 12 March 2021 the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the sanctions regime on Sudan, but some Council members urged the 15-member organ to consider lifting the restrictive measures.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2508 (2020) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, it requested to the Panel to submit an interim report on its activities no later than 12 August 2020 to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan.
Further, it requested the Panel to provide to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, a final report by 13 January 2021, including its findings and recommendations.
By other terms of the text, it expressed its intentions to regularly review the measures on Darfur in light of the evolving situation on the ground, and to establish clear, well identified, and measurable key benchmarks that could serve in guiding the Security Council to review measures on the Government of Sudan.
Following action, China’s delegate said he voted in favour of the resolution, adding, however, that regular review of the sanctions regime is necessary as the situation in Darfur is stable. That region is in transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. The Council should fully acknowledge the efforts of Sudan’s Government and carefully listen to them. Sanctions are not an end in itself, he said, urging Council members to consider developing a road map towards lifting such measures.
The Russian Federation’s delegate said he also voted in favour, but argued that the 15-year-old sanctions on Sudan have fulfilled their objectives. Noting positive trends towards normalization of the security situation, he said it is time to formulate a road map towards the lifting of sanctions. Council members should find the courage to make a step in that direction. Any Council sanctions regimes are subject to review, he added.
Sudan’s delegate said that the Council’s presidential statement in 2018 welcomed the continued improvement in Darfur’s security situation. During a briefing on 12 December 2019 by Joanna Wronecka, the former Chair of the sanctions committee, after having visited Sudan, acknowledged that the security situation has largely normalized since the imposition of sanctions, encouraging the Committee and the Council to explore different options. “Sanctions imposed on Sudan 15 years ago are no longer useful,” he said, urging the Council to reconsider the measures given that the situation in Darfur is improving day by day, the ceasefire is holding, and an agreement was signed between the Government and armed groups. Regarding four listed individuals, one retired from active duty and one is detained. The Government does not know the whereabouts of the other two, he added. As terrorist organizations, such as Boko Haram and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), remain active in the western border areas, Sudan’s security force and law enforcement capacities must be enhanced. However, this is not possible without lifting sanctions, he emphasized.
The meeting began at 3:02 p.m. and ended at 3:16 p.m.