U.S. Revises Sudan Resolution to Avoid Veto

Published September 17, 2004

| Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council (search) scheduled a vote Saturday on a U.S. resolution aimed at pressuring Sudan to end the conflict in western Darfur (search), where U.N. officials say as many as 50,000 people have died.

The vote comes after the United States submitted a final draft with minor changes to win support from Russia, China and other Security Council opponents.

The draft, circulated late Friday, threatens sanctions if Sudan fails to rein in militias ravaging western Darfur and calls for an international commission to investigate alleged human rights violations and whether or not acts of genocide occurred.

U.S. Ambassador John Danforth (search) said Thursday the United States had at least nine "yes" votes for the resolution, the minimum needed for adoption, and several council diplomats said there would probably be at least 11 votes in favor.

Before the final draft was released, China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said Beijing was concerned that the resolution "will be a recipe for failure for the peace talks" aimed at ending the crisis.

The revised version came a day after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for immediate U.N. action to halt attacks against civilians in western Darfur.

Two Darfur rebel groups rose up in February 2003, accusing the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum of neglect and discrimination. The government is accused of trying to squash the rebellion by backing ethnic Arab militias.

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