un security council renews arms embargo and sanctions against South Sudan

FILE - Members of the U.N. Security Council gather inside the United Nations Security Council chambers for a meeting on Syria, April 30, 2019.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday (30/05/2019) renewed the arms embargo it imposed on South Sudan last year for a further one year including sanctions. Eight individuals are targeted by sanctions that include assets freeze and global travel ban. The measure was not supported by the three African members of the UNSC that opted for abstention. The three countries are South Africa, Cote D’Ivoire, and Equatorial Guinea which joined Russia and China in abstention.

The South African Envoy, Jerry Matjila said sanctions are not useful to the political process. China cited that it abstained on the vote because it did not support imposing an arms embargo last year and it still does not support it.

The US-sponsored resolution won 10 votes in favour, one more than the minimum required for adoption. The government of South Sudan tried to persuade the members of the UNSC to drop the sanctions saying the peace agreement that is being implemented has ended the war.

Britain’s Political Coordinator, Stephen Hickey, said allowing an unhindered flow of arms into the country right now would surely be irresponsible, and risk fuelling further violence. US Ambassador, Jonathan Cohen said there are many factors in addition to sanctions that have contributed to the shift toward peace, including a larger leadership role taken by regional actors.