Juba, December 23, 2016 (SSNA) — A group of international human rights organizations have express outrage and strongly condemned the UN Security Council move to block the US-drafted arms embargo on South Sudan.
In a statement released today, the group expresses outrage over the 15-member council to bock the proposal, the UN has abandoned its sanction promise.
“South Sudanese civilians had a reasonable expectation that the Security Council would make good on its long-standing threat to impose an arms embargo and extend sanctions to some of the senior leaders who have been responsible for grave human rights abuses,” Enough Project’s Founding Director, John Prendergast, said.
Prendergast added that “I can only imagine their frustration with today’s vote.”
Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa Muthoni Wanyeki urges African leaders to act to end atrocities in South Sudan.
“African leaders should use all tools at their disposal and act swiftly – ending the atrocities should not be relegated to the AU Summit at the end of January 2017,” Wanyeki said.
Akshaya Kumar, deputy United Nations director at Human Rights Watch said the UN Security Council fais to stand with South Sudanese war victims and that the council inability to adopt the resolution will allow the warring factions to buy more weapons.
“The Security Council had an opportunity to show that it stands with the civilian victims of this conflict. Instead, this failure gives the warring parties in South Sudan a green light to buy more weapons and materiel that will end up being used against civilians,” Kumar explained.
Managing director of Humanity United David Abramowitz describes how difficult it is to achieve peace in the war-torn young nation where journalists are not allowed to report on political issues and civil society advocates fled to other countries.
“In a country where the media cannot report on the political situation and many civil society advocates have fled to neighboring countries for their safety – who is left to participate in a dialogue?” Abramowitz illustrated.
“Rather than taking President Kiir’s announcement on face value, the international community should be asking a lot more questions about who will be part of this dialogue, who will facilitate it, and what safety assurances citizens will be given ahead of joining it,” he wonders.
The United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power warned the Council members who refused to support the resolution that they choose “a big gamble.”
“The council members who didn’t support this resolution are taking a big gamble that South Sudan’s leaders will not instigate a catastrophe,” US Ambassador Samantha Power told the council after the vote. It is the people of South Sudan who will pay an unbearable price,” Power said after the vote.
The resolution, which calls for imposition of arms embargo and targeted sanctions failed to garner the necessary votes needed for a resolution to pass.
The US secured seven votes; however, Angola, Egypt, Senegal, Russia, Venezuela, China, Malaysia, and Japan refused to cast their votes.
South Sudanese government calls the vote “diplomatic victory,” saying it is happy with the vote and accuses the United States and unnamed countries of trying to punish Juba.
“This is a diplomatic victory for the Republic of South Sudan. We want peace to come back to our country but peace shouldn’t be impose on us through arms embargo,” a senior government official who declined to be named told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the Council Monday that genocide is looming in South Sudan and called on the international community to act.