US draft warns Sudan, S.Sudan of possible sanctions
By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday circulated to the U.N. Security Council a draft resolution that warns Sudan and South Sudan of sanctions if they do not comply with African Union demands to swiftly stop border clashes and resolve their many disputes.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters the Security Council would begin discussing the draft resolution on Thursday and that it would likely need at least a few days of talks among members before going to a vote.
The AU's Peace and Security Council on Tuesday urged both sides to cease hostilities within 48 hours and to withdraw troops from disputed areas, and warned it would issue its own binding rulings if they fail to strike deals on a string of disputes within three months.
The draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, reaffirms those demands and warns Khartoum and Juba of "its determination, in the event that one or both of the parties have not complied, to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the (U.N.) Charter."
Chapter 7 Article 41 of the U.N. Charter allows the council to impose sanctions to enforce compliance with its decisions.
"The intention of the text was to provide swift and substantive support to the decisions of the African Union in the form that the African Union requested," Rice, president of the 15-nation Security Council for April, told reporters.
The AU asked for the Security Council to pass a resolution making its demands legally binding on both Sudan and South Sudan.
"There were some members who either need more time to get guidance from their capitals or who are skeptical of the wisdom of going directly to a resolution," Rice said. "This is extremely urgent." Continued...