South Sudan hostilities: United Nations imposes arms embargo

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his aide Riek Machar. FILE PHOTO.

The United Nations [UN] Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan in a move aimed at stopping the five-year-old civil war.

The Council says the signing of the final peace deal in Sudan’s Capital, Khartoum is slated for July 26.

It further says the deal would come positive only if the outstanding wrangles, involving a number of states South Sudan must whilst size of transitional government are sorted out.

It is reported that South Sudan President, Salva Kiir has started asking neighboring countries to ignore the arms embargo with claims that it is being driven by the United States government.

Countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan are inner to the flourishing implementation of the embargo because the four countries are either the source or offer passage to arms destined to South Sudan.

The embargo imposed on July 12, requires all UN Member States to prevent the entry of arms and equipment of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and other spare parts, in South Sudan.

“All Member States, especially the neighbors shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the territory of South Sudan from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of a and related materiel of all type,” read the resolution

Already, Ethiopia has opposed the embargo when its Permanent Representative to the UN Tekeda Alemu, argued that South Sudan talks is at a critical stage that an embargo will have serious implication on the peace process.

James Morgan, the South Sudan ambassador to the African Union (AU) insisted that the arms embargo is a US agenda and not of the United Nations.

“The US has been pursuing the arms embargo for a long time but those in the Security Council were hesitant because it was not the UN. If not we now say that the US is synonymous with the UN,” Morgan noted.

Several attempts by the US to push for a resolution for arms embargo at the Security Council have failed in the past two years because of veto from Russia and China.

The resolution that was presented by the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, got the requisite nine votes at the 15-member Security Council, while six countries abstained.

Ivory Coast, France, Kuwait, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, Britain and the US voted for the embargo, while Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Russia abstained.

Diplomatic sources revealed that both Russia and China believed that Ivory Coast was with them but voted with the US to make the required nine countries.

Ms Haley argued that the arms embargo will protect civilians and send a strong message to the South Sudan leaders that the Council is tired of the delays and stalling of the peace process.

“If we are going to protect the people of South Sudan, then we need to stop the violence. And to stop the violence, we need to stop the flow of arms the fighting groups which they use to terrorise the populations,” said Ms Haley.

Kenya and Uganda will be on focus because Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, last year accused the two countries of perpetuating the war in South Sudan by allowing the passage of arms and ammunition through their territories.

But the Kenyan Principle Secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs Macharia Kamau said that while Kenya always seeks to co-operate with the United Nations, the country will continue to support peace building in South Sudan.

Uganda’s government has not made any similar comment on the accusation so far but it continues to involve herself in the peace building process.

Mr Kamau said the embargo could not end the war, noting that the final solution is in the hands of South Sudanese people and her leaders, many of whom are yet far from reaching enjoyable treaty.

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