US Vetoes Resolution on Islamic State Militants

  • The United States has said the resolution does not address key issues related to the repatriation of foreign fighters.
  • The United States has said such extremists should be prosecuted in their own country for their actions.
  • Britain and France do not appear to support the United States' position.

The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on the repatriation of ISIS fighters, which could have been crucial to the fate of those involved in terrorist activities. The UN Security Council’s resolution on Islamic State militants was intended to prosecute, and rehabilitate those involved in terrorist acts.

Kelly Dawn Craft is an American diplomat serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Craft previously served as the United States ambassador to Canada, being the first woman to hold the office.

However, the United States had some objections to the resolution, which led to its veto. The United States has said the resolution does not address key issues related to the repatriation of foreign fighters and their families belonging to the Islamic State extremist group.

The resolution was introduced by Indonesia in August but was vetoed by US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft. She said the resolution, was “supposedly designed to reinforce international action on counter-terrorism, was worse than no resolution at all.” She dismissed it as “a cynical and willfully oblivious farce.” She added:

“It is incomprehensible that other members of this council were satisfied with a resolution that ignores the security implications of leaving foreign terrorist fighters to plot their escape from limited detention facilities and abandoning their family members to suffer in camps without recourse, opportunities, or hope.”

However, in the 15-member Security Council, the resolution was supported by all 14 other members except the United States. As a permanent member, the United States has veto power, which is used to reject it.

The Issue of Repatriation of Fighters

The US ambassador said that the resolution did not mention sending ISIS militants back to their homeland or where they are citizens, nor did it say anything in this regard. The United States has said such extremists should be prosecuted in their own country for their actions, and that their rehabilitation should take place in their homeland.

However, European allies of the United States, such as Britain and France, do not appear to support the United States’ position that the people will not support the move, or that such extremists could attack their homeland. These countries also say that it is very difficult to gather evidence of extremist activities in Syria or Iraq.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS), officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and also known by its Arabic language acronym Daesh is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam.

The draft resolution, however, referred to the families of the fighters or their children being properly repatriated, depending on the nature of the case.

ISIL fighters had seized several areas in Iraq and Syria, but in the ensuing fighting, all areas fell out of their hands. The Kurdish-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained thousands of ISIL fighters, who are still imprisoned in large numbers in their camps. Such large camps include thousands of women and children, most of whom are family members of suspected militants.

The United Nations has expressed concern over the plight of women and children in such filthy camps, which lack basic services such as sanitation. These camps are overcrowded. Officials say it is important to address the problems of foreign militants and their families living in such camps as soon as possible, otherwise extremist activities could resume.

A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said:

“We regret the resolution was not adopted. We are working closely with international partners to reduce the risk posed to us collectively by foreign fighters.”

In view of the Coronavirus epidemic, all members voted on the resolution by email.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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