President Bush to Announce New Sanctions on Sudan Over Darfur

ByABC News
April 17, 2007, 10:27 PM

April 17, 2007 — -- In a speech this morning at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., President Bush will announce a new set of sanctions on Sudan in an attempt to pressure the Khartoum government to allow a peacekeeping force into the turbulent Darfur region.

A text of those sanctions is expected to be circulated within the U.N. Security Council soon thereafter.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Bush's envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, offered a preview into the sanctions.

State Department officials confirmed today that the sanctions to be announced by Bush would be very similar to those that Natsios had outlined last week.

Natsios testified that the United States would seek to place sanctions on 29 Sudanese companies, some of which control parts of Sudan's lucrative oil revenues. The United States already has in place sanctions on 130 Sudanese companies, he said.

Sources tell ABC News those sanctions will be similar in nature to the ones placed on Iran and North Korea in recent months. They will utilize the same clauses in the Patriot Act that allow the Treasury Department to cut Iranian and North Korean companies off from the international system. The existing sanctions on Sudanese companies will also be upgraded to take advantage of these new powers.

Natsios also testified that sanctions would be placed on several Sudanese government officials, although he did not specify which officials would be affected. He added that similar sanctions would be placed on one "obstructionist" rebel leader.

These sanctions, Natsios said, will include travel bans and asset freezes.

Sources tell ABC News that the personal sanctions will target three Sudanese government officials, but officials stressed they would not target Sudan's President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir.

The Sudanese government has resisted negotiated attempts to allow a peacekeeping force into the country, saying that it will treat such a force as an invasion of its territory. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan negotiated an agreement in the fall whereby Sudan signed on to a three-stage deployment of a hybrid force consisting of U.N. and African Union peacekeepers.