Security Council passes sanctions in attempt to resolve Darfur conflict

The United Nations Security Council has voted to impose sanctions on four citizens of Sudan accused of involvement in the conflict in Darfur.

The UN Security Council has voted to impose sanctions on four citizens of Sudan accused of involvement in the conflict in Darfur.

The council identified the individuals as Maj.-Gen. Gaffar Mohamed Elhassan, who is commander of the western military region for the Sudanese Air Force, and Sheikh Musa Hilal, paramount chief of the Jalul tribe in north Darfur.

Two rebel leaders were also targeted; Adam Yacub Shant, Sudanese Liberation Army commander, and Gabril Abdul Kareem Badri, field commander for the National Movement for Reform and Development.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said earlier that the purpose of the sanctions "is to apply pressure ... to people who are violating the arms embargo, not contributing to our effort to establish an effective peace process in Darfur and to restore the deteriorating security situation there."

On Tuesday, Bolton said that from interfering in the peace process, the sanctions' resolution would "strengthen" it.

Vote marks a first

The United Nations placed an arms embargo on Sudan in December 2005, hoping to end the violence.

The move means freezing the assets of the men and banning them from international travel.

The vote marks the first time sanctions have been adopted against individuals involved in Darfur.

The council also passed a resolution calling for all sides to call an immediate end to the violence and atrocities in the region. It "strongly urges that all parties make the necessary efforts do their utmost to reach an accord by the deadline of April 30," said the statement.

The conflict in Darfur has killed an estimated 180,000 people and displaced millions more.