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Sudan ministers named in leaked UN Darfur list

سودانيزاونلاين.كوم
sudaneseonline.com
2/23/2006 2:39pm


By Mark Turner at the United Nations
Published: February 22 2006 02:00
Financial Times
Sudan's interior minister, defence minister and the director of its national intelligence service, are named in a confidential list of individuals who could be considered for sanctions by the UN Security Council over their alleged role in the conflict in Darfur.

The confidential annexe to a report by a UN panel of experts, some of whose contents were revealed by the American Prospect on Friday, identifies 17 individuals alleged to have impeded the peace process, violated sanctions or committed human rights violations, in contravention of Security Council resolution 1591.

Individuals found to contravene that resolution could be subject to an asset freeze and travel ban. But officials insist the list represent no more than ideas at this stage, and say it is not even at the stage of official consideration by the council.

The list does not reflect any judicial findings of guilt, and does not relate to a separate legal process in the International Criminal Court, which is also investigating alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The final decision on what names to designate belongs to the Security Council, a process subject to political bargaining. Analysts say Russia and China are likely to resist the imposition of sanctions on Khartoum government officials.

Nevertheless, the unofficial dissemination of the names, which were closely guarded by Security Council members, could add to international pressure on the government and rebels to halt the violence in Darfur. The leak comes as the UN and the US are planning to bolster African Union troops in Darfur with a robust UN force.

The Sudan government has repeatedly blamed the rebels for the violence and dismissed accusations that it was responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes.

But among those named by the UN panel is Salah Abdalla Gosh, director of the national security and intelligence service, who is cited for his alleged "command responsibility for acts of arbitrary detention, harassment, torture, denial of right to fair trial".

Elzubier Bashir Taha, Sudan's interior minister, is identified for a "failure to take appropriate action to employ police forces" to disarm non-state militia, while Major General Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, the defence minister, is accused of a "failure.. to identify, neutralise and disarm militia groups". The 17 names also include rebels such as Adam Yacub Sharif, a Sudan Liberation Army commander, who is identified as responsible for an attack on a government military escort.

Sanctioning or even the suggestion of sanctions against the Sudanese officials would put the US in a difficult position given its close intelligence relationship with Sudan in the "war on terror". Mr Gosh visited the US last year and the CIA maintains an operation in Khartoum, say former US officials and analysts in Washington.

A second section, titled" Conditional naming consideration for possible future designation" cites Omer Al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, for impeding the peace process, and for his command responsibility as chief of the armed forces. Additional reporting Andrew England in Nairobi and Guy Dinmore in Washington


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