Sudan has been under sanctions by the UN Security Council, including an arms embargo, since 2005. While the conflict in the Darfur region, which served as the reason for the sanctions, is being resolved as envisaged by the 2020 Juba agreement, the restrictions in 2023 have remained in place without being reviewed.
During the United Nations Security Council vote on the issue of extending sanctions against Sudan, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said the Russian Federation is in favor of Council’s sanctions being justified and amended until they are lifted.
It is unacceptable to use them as a punitive measure, Polyanskiy stressed.
He recalled that the positions of the Arab League and the African Group were also in favor of lifting the sanctions.
The Russian diplomat emphasized that despite requests from seven member states to continue negotiations on the issue, the penholder of the case, the US, forced a vote.
Along with Polyanskiy, Dai Bing, charge d’affaires of China’s permanent mission to the United Nations, also said that the sanctions need to be lifted.
He pointed to the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement in 2020 between the Sudanese transitional government and the armed opposition, and the completion by the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) of its mandate and the mission’s withdrawal from Darfur at the end of the same year.
“Those positive developments pointed to a fundamental shift for the better in the situation in Darfur, and the fact that the Security Council sanctions against Sudan are outdated and should be lifted in light of the improved circumstances on the ground,” .Dai Bing.
The envoy also reiterated China’s call for a comprehensive assessment of the existing Security Council sanctions regime and the formulation of clear and feasible exit criteria, as in practice, sanctions turned into a substitute for diplomatic efforts, a means of political pressure for some countries.
The 15-member Security Council Wednesday decided, with a vote of 13 in favor and two abstentions (China and Russia), to extend through 12 March 2024, the mandate of the Panel of Experts charged with assisting its Sudan sanctions committee.