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Sudan faces threat of sanctions


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British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry speaks during the U.N. Security Council vote Saturday.
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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution that threatens "to consider" oil sanctions on Sudan if the government does not act to end the violence in the country's troubled Darfur region.

The situation in Darfur led the United States and the United Nations to label it "the world's worst humanitarian disaster."

The resolution passed 11 to 0 and was prompted by Sudan's lack of effort to stop the Janjaweed militias which have slaughtered close to 50,000 people and forced 1.2 million people from their homes.

China, Russia, Algeria and Pakistan abstained from the vote.

Sudan's ambassador called parts of the resolution "the worst form of injustice" and asked "why do so many insist on punishing the government of Sudan despite its cooperation?"

Sudanese Ambassador to the U.N. Elfatih Erwa also said Security Council actions had "torpedoed all the negotiations" between the government and rebel groups in Darfur.

Erwa said the resolutions gave the rebels "the message that they can do whatever they wanted."

However, Erwa also reiterated that his government would continue to cooperate with the U.N. saying, "the government is going to do the right thing, whether there is a threat of sanctions or not."

China, whose veto threat forced a watering down of the original draft resolution, cited ongoing cooperation from the Sudanese government as a reason for its abstention and said it continued to oppose sanctions on Sudan.

China has major oil interests in Sudan.

Wang Guangya, China's ambassador to the U.N., told the Security Council meeting China did not want to "send wrong signals" to the Sudanese government and "make negotiations more difficult."

The resolution says that the Sudanese government has not "fully met its obligations" to improve the security of the civilian population of Darfur and called for an "international commission of inquiry" to decide whether or not genocide has occurred and to identify perpetrators.

The U.S. - which has already declared a genocide underway in Darfur - insisted it would continue to push for sanctions if there were no further improvement in the situation there.

U.S. Ambassador John Danforth told the Security Council the disaster in Darfur was "entirely man-made" with over 50,000 dead, over 1.2 million displaced and over 2.2 million affected.

Danforth urged the Council to keep the heat on the Sudanese government.

He said while the Sudanese government had made some improvements on humanitarian aid access "no one should be under any illusion" as to why the Sudanese government had made any progress.

"It did so under intense international pressure," Danforth said.


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