United Nations

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Thursday extending an arms embargo and other sanctions against South Sudan over objections from African nations, Russia and China that the measure won’t help promote peace. The U.S.-sponsored resolution received 10 “yes” votes — one more than the minimum required for adoption — and five abstentions from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Russia and China. A fragile peace deal to end a five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people was signed in September. But the committee overseeing its implementation says key elements have yet to be put in place. South Sudan had faced a May 12 deadline for opposition leader Riek Machar to return to the country and once again become President Salva Kiir’s deputy. It is the crucial next step in implementing the peace deal, but both South Sudan’s government and Machar’s opposition requested a six-month extension, which regional ministers approved earlier this month. Acting U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen expressed disappointment at the lack of African support for renewing the sanctions, stressing that “if there is to be any chance for lasting peace in South Sudan we must stop the flow of weapons used to fuel conflict and terrorize civilians.” He said the Trump administration wants to support African bodies taking leading roles in resolving disputes and conflicts on the continent but “support for this expanded role is difficult to envision if countries in the region are unwilling to support measures that incentivize warring parties to choose peace over war.”…

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