The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley urged the 15-member council to impose an arms embargo and other sanctions on South Sudan, saying the international community should not wait for more South Sudanese to die before it acts.
The renewed US call to ban weapons sale to South Sudan comes as fighting between South Sudanese warring factions intensified in Upper Nile and Equatoria regions.
“We must not wait for more deaths, more displacement, and more destruction before we have the courage to act,” Haley told the Council.
Meanwhile, Russia and China opposed the move, arguing that sanctions would not end the ongoing civil war. Russia has in the past blocked numerous proposed sanctions, claiming any sanction slapped on the war-wracked young nation wouldn’t solve anything.
However, a confidential source who demanded complete anonymity for fear of reprisal said that Juba had successfully courted Moscow to defend its interests at the world stage and that the agreement was inked a few years ago. The interest, according to the source, included blocking any sanction that could have a negative impact on South Sudan’s government.
The source added: “Russia relentless veto of South Sudan arms embargo and other sanctions was the main part of the pact signed between Russia and South Sudan.”
A United Nations diplomatic source also said that the August 2015 compromised peace agreement is ‘dead’, asserting: “the current Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan is not capable of ending South Sudan armed conflict.”