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US President orders new sanctions against Sudan.

US President orders new sanctions against Sudan.US President George W. Bush unveiled a new set of sanctions against the Sudanese government in a speech today. Mr. Bush made his speech ahead of next weeks G8 summit in Europe. The new sanctions are intended to influence the Sudanese to ends its blockade against humanitarian aid and an amendment to the African Union peace keeping force there. Mr. Bush will addressed the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, stating; "”President Bashir's actions over the past few weeks follow a long pattern of promising co-operation while finding new methods of obstruction,”

The US sanctions will focus on four key steps; first, the current enforcement of existing measures will be enhanced; second, 31 additional government owned companies will be added to the list of those prevented from doing business with the United States, one of which is suspected of violating the arms embargo against Sudan; third, two high-ranking Sudanese government officials and one rebel leader will be specifically targeted by new sanctions; finally, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will push for a United Nations resolution enacting sweeping arms embargoes, including prohibiting military flights over Darfur.

Mr. Bush was expected to announce the new measures at an April 18 speech at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, however, urged the president to delay the announcement amongst diplomatic wrangling with Sudanese officials. Pressure has been racheting up as Sudan has been stalling on meeting its obligations to the international community. In April, Sudan was found to be violating arms embargoes by masking government aircraft as UN vehicles to smuggle weapons.

The new UN effort, however, is not met with universal acceptance. China, who holds veto power at the UN, has stated that new sanctions will only add to the problems in Sudan. China has spent millions investing in Sudan's oil infrastructure, is a major arms dealer to the country, and buys over half of its oil exports.

The Bush administration has classified the actions in Darfur as genocide, though the United Nations has not yet used the term. Keying in on that fact, administration officials are quoted as saying; "This will be the first time we are taking such an action ahead of the United Nations.” The crisis in Sudan is expected to be a key feature in the upcoming G8 summit.

This story is still breaking; transcripts and links to further analysis to follow as they become available. This is the lead story on the wire services today.

BBC News/AP/Reuters



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors