Sudan: UN experts on Darfur sanctions to leave for region soon

A four-member expert panel appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to monitor an arms embargo in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region will be leaving soon for the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa where it is to be based.

The experts, mandated by Security Council resolution 1591 on 29 March, met yesterday with the Council Committee set up by the same resolution to monitor its implementation and will report back to the 15-member body within 90 days.

The resolution calls on all states to take the necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply of weapons and military equipment to belligerents in the conflict in Darfur, where at least 180,000 people have been killed and some 2 million displaced since fighting broke out in early 2003 between rebels, the government and its allied militias.

"Following organizational briefings and meetings in New York, the experts will depart in several days for Addis Ababa, where they will be based, and from where they will travel to El-Fasher and other locations in Sudan, in accordance with their mandate," Council President for July, Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece said after yesterday's meeting.

The experts are Gerard P. McHugh (Ireland), Ernst Jan Hogendoorn (Netherlands), Sherrone Blake Lobban (Jamaica) and Eustace Mainza (Zambia).