UN troops to man Sudan frontier

2010-10-15 15:00
United Nations - UN troops are to be moved to the tense north-south Sudan frontier to head off violence ahead of a referendum that could break up Africa's biggest nation, a top UN official has said.

But international unity over Sudan took a blow on Thursday when China objected to a UN Security Council resolution on monitoring sanctions against allies of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

Extra troops were ordered to "hotspots" on the frontier after the council was told that the south's leader feared a war with the north over the looming independence referendum.

US ambassador Susan Rice said southern Sudan's president Salva Kiir had asked for a frontier buffer zone with only UN troops when he met Security Council ambassadors last week.

"President Kiir also warned that he fears the north may be preparing for war and may be moving troops southward," Rice told the council.

After the meeting, UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said UN troops would be moved toward the north-south border within weeks.

Military buildup claims

"We will increase our presence but only in some hotspots," Le Roy said. The UN mission, UNMIS, did not have enough troops to create a buffer zone along the whole 2 000km border.

UNMIS has also announced that it will step up checks on allegations made by the two sides that the other has launched a military buildup on the frontier.

It said it would ask the armies in the north and south "to share the information they have and increase the tempo of our verification and monitoring activities to prevent any escalation of tensions".

Southern Sudan and the nearby Abyei region are to hold a referendum on January 9 on whether they want to break with the Arab-dominated north.

The votes are widely expected to lead to secession, but preparations are seriously behind schedule and Western nations fear a conflict if there is a delay.

UNMIS has about 10 600 troops and police in Sudan monitoring a 2005 peace accord that ended two decades of north-south civil war in which some two million people died.

UN sanctions warning

The Security Council, including the main powers - the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France - went to Sudan last week to give a united message that the referendum must be held on time.

The United States is looking for ways to strengthen the application of UN sanctions against Sudan if there is a delay, a senior US official said.

China, however, abstained in a Security Council vote on Thursday on extending the mandate of experts overseeing existing travel and assets freezes against Sudanese figures involved in the Darfur war. There is also an arms embargo on Darfur.

President al-Bashir is not on the sanctions list but is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

China is the major buyer of Sudanese oil and has other key commercial interests.

"China has serious concerns about the annual report submitted by the panel of experts on the Sudan sanctions committee and believes that there is much room for improvement in the work of the panel," a Chinese official told the Security Council, to justify the abstention.

UN committed


"We urge the panel of experts to conduct their work under the principles of objectivity and responsibility," the official added, without giving any details.

China could have vetoed the resolution as one of the permanent members of the council. The abstention signalled its strong concern.

US ambassador Rice said the new resolution includes measures that tighten enforcement of the arms embargo, "including language to make clear the scope of the current embargo and clarify obligations of the government of Sudan and other member states' under the sanctions regime".

She added: "Although the panel has faced setbacks in Sudan and restrictions on mobility, their presence and reporting reaffirms the Council's commitment to the safety and protection of the people of Darfur."

The senior US official said earlier that there are "additional measures" that could be applied by the international community if the referendum is delayed.

- SAPA
Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  salva kiir  |  sudan  |  east africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.