The United Nations Security Council is imposing sanctions on four Sudanese accused of crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.
Security Council resolution sixteen-seventy-two imposes a travel ban and freezes the assets of Sheikh Musa Hillal, a leader of the Sudanese government backed Janjaweed militia in Darfur, and Major General Mohamed Elhassen, commander of Sudan's western military region. Sanctions have also placed on two rebel commanders: Gabriel Abdul Kareen Badri of the National Movement for Reform and Development, and Adam Yacub Shant, head of the Sudan Liberation Army.
John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the U-N, says the vote to impose sanctions "constituted an important first step in the Security Council fulfilling its responsibilities under the several resolutions respecting Darfur that it has adopted":
"The Security Council is serious that its resolutions have to be complied with, that it's prepared to take enforcement steps if they are not complied with. I think it should indicate to all the parties in the conflict in Darfur that we're determined to bring this to a peaceful resolution and restore peace and security for the people of Darfur who have been most adversely affected by the conflict."
Fighting broke out in Darfur in 2003 after rebels complained that the region had been marginalized by the central government. Rebels attacked Sudanese government facilities. Supported by the Sudanese government, Janjaweed militia responded by launching attacks on civilians from Sudan's Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa groups in Darfur. According to the U-N, some two-hundred-thousand Sudanese have died. Two million others live in refugee camps.
In a written statement, the State Department says the U.S. will continue to work with the U-N, the African Union, and others "to press the Sudanese government and the rebel movements to stop the violence in Darfur, rein in the Janajweed militias, rapidly conclude a peace agreement. . .and hold accountable all who are responsible for crimes against the people of Darfur."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.