US pushes UN to consider arms embargo on South Sudan

The United States on Wednesday circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution that threatens to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and to take “all appropriate measures” against those blocking peace efforts.
The draft text obtained by AFP demands an end to four years of fighting in South Sudan and urges the warring sides to uphold three ceasefire deals agreed since July 2016.
The council “expresses its intention to consider all appropriate measures, including an arms embargo, to disable the parties’ ability to procure weapons and ammunition so that the peace process can proceed,” said the draft resolution.
Diplomats said Russia and China are likely to raise objections to the draft, which takes a tough line on punishing those who refuse to end the war, now in its fifth year.
Negotiations are to begin Thursday on the proposed measure ahead of a vote at the council scheduled for March 15.
The African Union has backed sanctions as a way to pressure the sides to end the war in South Sudan but it has not endorsed an arms embargo.
The United States failed in late 2016 to garner enough support for a ban on weapons sales to South Sudan but is again making the case for an embargo as fighting continues.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a council meeting in January that a ban on weaponry would “actually help the people of South Sudan – to slow the violence, slow the flow of arms and ammunitions and protect innocent lives.”

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