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John Bolton has successfully pushed through sanctions on four Sudanese that have participated in war crimes despite earlier resistance from genocide-apologists Russia and China. The UN Security Council voted unanimously, with three key abstentions, to block the assets and travel of the quartet:
The Security Council passed a resolution on Tuesday imposing the first sanctions in the violence that has killed more than 200,000 villagers and driven two million people from their homes in Darfur, in western Sudan.
Twelve members of the 15-nation Council voted in favor of the American-drafted measure, which will freeze the assets of four Sudanese accused of war crimes and instructs nations to block their entry. Three countries — China, Qatar and Russia — abstained.
"I think today's sanction resolution shows that the Security Council is serious, that its resolutions have to be complied with, that it is prepared to take enforcement steps if they are not complied with," said John R. Bolton, the United States ambassador.
Bolton had previously tried to have sanctions imposed on the four through quiet channels available at the UNSC, which allows resolutions to pass by acclamation as long as no one voices a public objection to it. Russia and China balked at the sanctions, even though Bolton had carefully focused the punishment on four individuals responsible for the atrocities rather than on the nation as a whole. Earlier American envoys may have shelved the effort at that point to retain comity among the members, but instead Bolton went public and upped the ante, allowing the obstructionism of Russia and China to be seen clearly.
It represents a victory not just for Bolton but for human rights and justice. His bold approach managed to embarrass Russia and China, at least temporarily. It sends a signal to both nations that the US has lost patience with their protection for terrorists and genocidists, a lesson that has more application to bigger issues than Sudan. The lack of a veto indicates that the message has been received.Sphere It View blog reactions
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