Coronavirus scare forces UN to adopt 4 resolutions online - GulfToday

Coronavirus scare forces UN to adopt 4 resolutions online


The flag of the United Nations flutters in Bonn, Germany. File/Reuters

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions on Monday, with its 15 members voting by email for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members voted to keep troops in Sudan’s restive Darfur region until the end of May and maintain the UN political mission in Somalia until June 30.


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They extended the mandate of the UN panel of experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea until April 30, 2021, and they stressed the importance of supporting the UN’s far-flung peacekeeping operations.

The UN’s most powerful body has been meeting by video because of COVID-19, which has hit New York City, where the UN has its headquarters, exceedingly hard. The last council meeting in the headquarters complex was on March 12, when a resolution was adopted extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan and welcoming "encouraging developments” toward peace.


A resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom and Germany extends the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur known as UNAMID until May 31 when the council said it will decide on "the responsible draw-down and exit” of UNAMID. The council said it also intends to establish "a follow-on presence to UNAMID” at the same time.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. The government in Khartoum was accused of retaliating by arming local nomadic Arab tribes and unleashing them on civilian populations — a charge it denies. In recent years, as the result of a successful government military campaign, the rebellion has been reduced to a single rebel faction.

There has been pressure, including from the Trump administration, to scale down the UNAMID force in response to reduced fighting and security conditions. It was established in 2007 and was one of the UN's most expensive operations, with a ceiling of 15,845 military personnel and 3,403 police in June 2016.

Associated Press

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