Entries in UN Sanctions (3)


Report: Beijing Offered Gadhafi Forces Weapons, China Denies

Guang Niu/Getty Images(BEIJING) - Canada's The Globe and Mail reported on Friday that it obtained documents from a pile of trash in Tripoli showing that Chinese arms manufacturers offered to sell $200 million worth of weapons to Gadhafi forces in late July. If true, this would have been in violation of U.N. sanctions. 

On Tuesday Beijing confirmed that Gadhafi officials did indeed visit China in July seeking to buy arms, but no contracts were signed and no weapons were shipped. At a daily press briefing Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said that Gadhafi's officials met with representatives from Chinese companies, but gave no details about the discussions.

Yu said that China strictly adheres to a U.N. ban on supplying arms to Gadhafi’s now-toppled regime.  Omar Hariri, chief of the transitional council’s military committee, told The Globe and Mail that he was “almost certain that these guns arrived and used against [the rebels].”  China has so far refused to denounce Gadhafi or recognize the rebel movement, so even if no arms were delivered,  this news will add to the growing mistrust between Beijing and the NTC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Treasury Department Slaps New Sanctions on Syria

Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. (US State Dept)(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration slapped new sanctions on Syria Thursday, part of an effort to ratchet up the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to allow reforms and halt a brutal crackdown on protesters seeking his ouster.

The Treasury Department sanctioned Muhammad Hamsho, a member of the Syrian parliament and prominent businessman, and his company, the Hamsho International Group, for their role in supporting the Assad regime.

"Muhammad Hamsho earned his fortune through his connections to regime insiders, and during the current unrest, he has cast his lot with Bashar al-Asad, Mahir al-Asad and others responsible for the Syrian government's violence and intimidation against the Syrian people," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. "The sanctions we are applying today to Hamsho and his company are the direct consequence of his actions."

According to the Treasury Department, Hamsho has business interests in many sectors of the Syrian economy and has served as a frontman for Assad and his brother.

In recent months the United States has sanctioned over two dozen Syrian officials, including Assad himself, for their roles in the violence.

This latest round of sanctions comes as Syrian troops poured into the restive city of Hama this week, with reports of dozens killed. On Thursday, human rights activists claim that more than 100 people have been killed in Hama in just the past 24 hours, despite Assad's promise hours earlier that he would allow reforms, including allowing opposition parties to operate.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner dismissed the reforms, saying they "ring hollow" amid the continued violence.

The escalated violence this week spurred a condemnation from United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, overcoming longstanding Russian opposition to what it saw as meddling in Syria's internal affairs.

On Monday, the European Union levied its own round of sanctions on Syria. Following Wednesday's Security Council action, the British permanent representative to the United Nations suggested the world body could consider bolder steps including sanctions when it meets next week, if the violence continues.

The Obama administration is also drafting tougher sanctions on Syria which would hit its oil and gas sector, a lucrative source of funding for the regime.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ABC News Obtains Draft of UN Sanctions on Libya 

Libya's UN Ambassador, Abdurraham Mohamed Shalgam, speaks to media after denouncing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during a UN Security Council meeting. Photo Courtesy - Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- ABC News has obtained the text of a draft resolution that was introduced to the United Nations Security Council Friday afternoon, proposing stiff sanctions on Libya for its crackdown on protestors over the past 10 days. According to an annexed list, also obtained by ABC News, 23 individuals would also face travel bans and asset freezes if the resolution is approved.

Among those individuals are Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his children Khamis, Hannibal, Mohammed, Saif al-Arab, Saif al-Islam, Mutassim, Saadi and Aisha.

Also targeted are top military, security, and intelligence commanders who are alleged to have ordered violence against demonstrators, as well as members of Gadhafi’s inner circle. They include Armed Forces Commander Col. Mas’ud Abdulhafiz, Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Abu Bakr Yunis Jabir, and Director of Military Intelligence Col. Abdullah al-Senussi, as well as Col. Gadhafi’s cousins Sayyid Qadaf al-Dam, who is allegedly involved in arms procurement, and Ahmed Mohammed Qadaf al-Dam, who the annex accuses of being directly involved in terrorist activity and operations against Libyan dissidents abroad.

The proposed resolution, which will now be debated by Security Council members, may not be approved until the end of the weekend. Though UN diplomats differ on timing, all agree on the need to consult with their governments.

The resolution would impose an arms embargo on Libya and refer the case to the International Criminal Court for investigation into events since Feb. 15.

The proposed punitive steps come as the United States and other countries stepped up efforts to evacuate their citizens from Libya as violence swelled in the capital Tripoli. Earlier Friday the United States suspended operations at its embassy in Libya and removed all of its official American personnel from the country.

The White House Friday also announced unilateral sanctions on Libya, something it was reluctant to do until it was assured that most Americans were out of harm’s way, for fear they could be held hostage as bargaining chips by the Gadhafi regime.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio