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US vetoes UN Security Council on foreign Islamic State fighters

US Vetoes UNSC on Foreign Islamic State Fighters

WASHINGTON – The United States on Monday vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to prosecute, rehabilitate and reinstate those involved in terrorist-related activities. The country said it had missed a crucial part of the repatriation of foreign fighters from the extremist “Islamic State” group and their families.
“The Indonesian resolution before us, purportedly designed to strengthen international action against terrorism, was worse than no resolution at all,” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said.
The resolution was sponsored by Indonesia, which led the Security Council during August. The final vote saw 14 members in favor of the resolution, while the United States vetoed it.
“[The resolution] does not even refer to the crucial first step – repatriation to countries of origin or nationality,” Craft said.
The United States has called for foreign fighters to be prosecuted and rehabilitated at home.
However, European states, including the UK and France, did not share the US enthusiasm over concerns about adverse public reactions or the resumption of attacks on their soil. They also spoke of difficulties in collecting evidence of crimes committed in Iraq and Syria.
In the case of family members of combatants, the draft resolution called for “the return of children to their country of origin, as appropriate and on a case-by-case basis”.
With the Islamic State group losing control of large swathes of land in Syria, the mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have detained thousands of foreign fighters in the northeast of the country. The large camps are also home to thousands of women and children, mostly family members of suspected combatants.
The UN has expressed concerns about conditions in these squalid camps, known to be overcrowded. Prompt resolution of the problem of foreign fighters and their families is essential to prevent a resurgence of terrorist activity, authorities said.
“We regret that the resolution was not adopted,” a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said after the veto. “We are working closely with international partners to reduce the risk that foreign fighters pose to us collectively.”
All votes were sent by email due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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