New York, 13 July 2018; The fifteen members of The United Nations Security Council on Friday imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, nearly five years after civil war rampaged the world youngest nation, the sanctions are aimed to end the war while the UN Security council hopes the imposition of arms embargo will unable South Sudan to purchase new weapons to escalate the fighting.
A U.S.-drafted resolution won the minimum nine votes needed, while Russia, China, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan abstained, the abstaining members of security council expressed worried that sanctions will have negative implication on the current effort by the regional IGAD bloc to revitalize the 2015, South Sudan peace process.
The US and EU and top U.N. officials have long called for an arms embargo on South Sudan. A U.S. bid to impose the measure in December 2016 - under the previous U.S. administration of President Barack Obama however, it failed to get enough votes in favor.
“South Sudan’s people have endured unimaginable suffering and unspeakable atrocities. Their leaders have failed them,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council before the vote. “We need the violence to stop.”
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s U.N. Ambassador Tekeda Alemu told the council before the vote that imposing the arms embargo would undermine the peace process and that the African Union and East African regional bloc IGAD believe “now is not the appropriate time for taking such measures.”
The abstention by China which is the strong allied of South Sudan sends strong signal to Juba that perhaps the world is beginning to closes its door from supporting Juba. During the heated voting process China’s U.N. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu said the Security Council should have listened to African leaders on the issue.
Whilst, South Sudan’s U.N. Ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal told the council the resolution would “undermine peace” and was “a slap in the face of those organizations who are trying to bring peace in South Sudan.”
British Ambassador to UN was quick to assured the world that the process is aimed to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people rather than to jeopardizing the ongoing peace process. “It’s not a resolution about the peace process. It’s a resolution designed to protect the people of South Sudan ... We expect the peace process to continue.” Ambassador Karen Pierce said