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UNSC renews S.Sudan arms embargo despite objection by 5 member states

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, May 31, 2019

File: UN Security Council in session

Three African countries abstained from voting for an extension of the arms embargo on South Sudan yesterday after ten members of the Security Council voted for it.

The UN Security Council voted to extend the sanction regime for a year despite resistance from Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Russia and China.

The US-drafted resolution required a minimum of nine votes for adoption in the 15-member council.

The measure renews the arms embargo along with an assets freeze and global travel ban imposed on eight South Sudanese nationals for their role in fueling the war.

It will remain active until May 31, 2020.

The passage of the resolution was not received well by South Africa which insisted that sanctions imposed on South Sudan at this time are not helpful to the current complex political process.

The South African Ambassador Jerry Matjila said “while progress in implementing the peace deal had been slow, sanctions would not be useful to push the parties” to speed up the implementation phase.

Russia and China, which abstained in the vote last year made it clear during yesterday’s voting that their positions had not changed.

The Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said the situation in South Sudan was “steadily stabilizing” and rejected the US view that the arms embargo helped bring about the latest peace deal.

The two countries did not however veto the resolution.

Parties to the revitalized peace agreement are expected to form a government of national unity in November this year.

So far all mechanisms for the implementation of the pre-transitional period have been activated with the participation of all parties.

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