UN to vote on measure to combat al-Qaida fighters
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Security Council members have reached agreement on a draft resolution that would punish the recruitment and financing of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria and demand that all al-Qaida-linked groups disarm and disband immediately, diplomats said Thursday.
Britain’s U.N. Mission, which currently holds the council presidency, said the resolution will be put to a vote at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Friday. Diplomats expect it to be approved unanimously.
The resolution was drafted in response to the recent offensive by the Islamic State extremist group, which has taken control of a large swath of eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, brutalizing civilians and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, as well as increasing terrorist activity in Syria including by al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.
It demands that the Islamic State group, Jabhat al-Nusra, “and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with al-Qaida cease all violence and terrorist acts, and disarm and disband with immediate effect.”
It also demands that “all foreign terrorist fighters” associated with the Islamic State group, which is a splinter group of al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups “withdraw immediately.”
The draft resolution expresses the council’s readiness to impose sanctions on those recruiting, supporting and fighting for terrorist groups.
It names six people to be added to the sanctions blacklist and encourages the council committee monitoring sanctions “to urgently consider additional designations” of individuals and entities supporting the Islamic State group or Jabhat al-Nusra.
The Security Council adopted a wide-ranging resolution immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States to tackle terrorism, demanding that countries adopt national laws to combat terrorism and cooperate in bringing the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of terrorist acts to justice. The council also extended sanctions against the Taliban in Afghanistan, which were imposed in 1999 to cover al-Qaida and later its far-flung affiliates.
The draft resolution urges all countries to meet their obligations under the 2001 resolution and reaffirms its requirement that all countries prevent the financing and active or passive support for terrorist acts.
It notes “with concern” that oil fields controlled by the Islamic State group, Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaida-linked groups are generating income that is supporting their recruitment efforts and ability to carry out terrorist operations. It warns that any involvement in financing terrorism may lead to sanctions.
The draft resolution calls on all countries to take measures to suppress the flow of their citizens and residents to fight for terrorist groups and bring those who do to justice. It also encourages governments to engage with communities and individuals who are “at risk of recruitment and violent radicalization to discourage travel to Syria and Iraq” to fight for the Islamic State group, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.