UN Security Council extends mandate of Experts' Panel on Sudan

Friday February 8 2019

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. UN Security

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. UN Security Council stated that "the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region." AFP PHOTO 

By AGENCIES

The UN Security Council on Thursday adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the Sudan Sanctions Committee until March 12, 2020.

According to the resolution 2455, the council recalled the final report of the Sudan Panel of Experts and found that challenges remain in the implementation of the sanctions regime.

The 15-member body stated that "the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region."

Dated January 10, 2019, the final report of the Panel of Experts said that the crisis in Libya remains the major source of possible conflict spillover in the region, including Darfur, a region in western Sudan.

According to the report, the main development in conflict dynamics has been the resumption of significant clashes across Jebel Marra between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW).

Moreover, in relation to violations of the arms embargo, the report found that the government of Sudan had continued to transfer military equipment into Darfur without seeking the Committee's approval as required.

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"Clashes in Jebel Marra have resulted into new displacement, humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses. Across Darfur, women and girls continue to be subjected to conflict-related sexual violence," said the report.

As of sexual violence, the UN Secretary-General's latest report on the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said its threat remains "significant," with most cases of conflict-related sexual violence occurring in Jebel Marra, notably during clashes involving Sudanese government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid rebel group.

The Panel was informed of 122 sexual violence cases documented by UNAMID from January to October 2018. Many survivors do not receive adequate medical care, said the report.

At the January 17 briefing, a few members of the Security Council including Germany and France expressed their support for including sexual violence as a new listing criterion for targeted sanctions.

Although the 15 council members have contrasting assessments of the overall situation in Darfur and the sanctions regime, they seemed generally satisfied on establishing benchmarks to review the sanctions measures.

Therefore, the newest adopted resolution 2455 expressed their intention 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.

The western Sudanese region of Darfur has been plagued by a war between Sudanese government forces and the indigenous population since 2003.

In early 2008, the UNAMID was deployed in Darfur, and it is considered as the second biggest peacekeeping mission in the world, after the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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