The UN Security Council voted to extend the sanction regime for a year despite resistance from two countries— India and Kenya that absented from the vote.
The Security Council first slapped an arms embargo on South Sudan in 2018 which has since been renewed several times.
The arms embargo empowers all UN Member States to prevent arms and related equipment of all types – including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and any spare parts – from entering South Sudan.
Friday’s resolution renews the arms embargo until 31 May 2022 when a new vote is expected.
In March, the UNSC preconditioned the lifting of the arms embargo on a number of benchmarks, including the implementation of security arrangements spelled out in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
The Council expressed its readiness to review the embargo measures — including through their modification, suspension or progressive lifting — in light of progress achieved on five key benchmarks.
Those included the completion by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity of stages 1, 2 and 3 of the country’s strategic defence and security review; the formation of a unified command structure and redeployment of the Necessary Unified Forces.
Others are; progress on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; progress on properly managing existing arms and ammunition stockpiles; and the implementation of the Joint Action Plan for the Armed Forces on addressing conflict-related sexual violence.
Council members requested the South Sudan authorities to report on progress achieved on those benchmarks, as well as additional reforms, to the Committee overseeing the country’s sanctions by no later than 15 April 2022.
The resolution also extended until 1 July 2022, the mandate of the panel of experts assisting the South Sudan Sanctions Committee.
It required the panel to provide the Council with an interim report by 1 December 2021, a final report by 1 May 2022.
It also called upon all parties, organizations and Member States, especially those neighbouring South Sudan, to cooperate with the panel.
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