Russia is impeding monitoring of UN sanctions violations against South Sudan and other African nations. – diplomats
According to diplomats, Russia is delaying the appointment of panels of independent experts to monitor breaches of United Nations sanctions against South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Mali, putting their work in jeopardy.
According to officials, Russia is dissatisfied with the number of experts chosen from Western nations and would want to see more Russians nominated to the panels. Russia is trying to extend its influence in Africa, particularly in Mali and the Central African Republic, where it is challenging longstanding French hegemony.
“Russia has certainly put the approval of a number of panels or individual experts on hold,” Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said in a Reuters article obtained by NCMP.
“Unfortunately, we are still in a situation where the planned composition of these panels is not regionally fair. We have a skewed representation from Western nations.”
The mandates for the panel of experts on South Sudan ended on July 1, for the Democratic Republic of the Congo on August 1, for the Central African Republic on August 31, and for Mali on September 30.
The experts can’t begin working until the council agrees to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ selections for the expanded mission of these panels, and their attempts to monitor sanctions breaches are hindered.
According to diplomats, Russia is also delaying the nomination of a substitute expert to the panel overseeing Somalia’s sanctions. The remainder of the panel’s experts may continue to work until their mandate ends in mid-December.
For each of these U.N. sanctions regimes, Guterres selects committees of four to six independent experts. They monitor breaches and report them to the Security Council, as well as make recommendations for future action.
Every year, the Security Council renews the different sanctions regimes and panel mandates. Guterres then sends a letter to the council informing them of the experts he has chosen, and the 15-member body unanimously accepts the decision, enabling the panel to begin work.
“Some of the experts do not satisfy the standards of impartiality, neutrality, and independence,” Polyanskiy said. “This has an impact on the outcomes of their job. This issue must be remedied.”
Earlier this year, an expert panel overseeing CAR sanctions accused Russian military instructors and CAR soldiers of using disproportionate force against people, indiscriminate murders, occupying schools, and large-scale looting. The Kremlin has denied that Russian instructors were involved in murders or robberies.