Juba, December 20, 2016 (SSNA) — Japan and the United States have been trading blames over the imposition of arms embargo on South Sudan since Monday, according to transcripts obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).
The two allies clashed at the United Nations Security council session yesterday when Tokyo indicated it was not ready to vote for the Washington-drafted proposal, citing wrong timing.
A seemingly frustrated US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power blasted later disclosed to the media that the United States questions Japan’s position.
“It’s a highly questionable logic to think that the way to keep your peacekeepers safe is to not support an arms embargo,” Power told reports after the meeting.
Power questions Japan why its peacekeepers would support a government that only buy arms and doesn’t care for its citizens.
“Why would it be good for your peacekeepers to have a government whose people are starving spend what little money it has on weapons – large weapons systems – instead of on food?” she asked. Adding that “It is in everyone’s interest, including the peacekeepers, for there to be fewer heavy weapons.”
Japan says US reaction is “not helpful and counterproductive,” according to the Reuters.
A United Nations diplomatic source who described Japan’s decision “unbelievable,” told the SSNA Tokyo believes it is not the right time to exercise its decision at the council given the fact that Japanese peacekeepers recently landed in the violence-ravaged young nation.
The source went in detail, saying even if the United States secure votes needed to pass its resolution, Russia and China could veto it.
The South Sudan News Agency has learned that Washington has convinced seven countries to back its proposal, but it is falling short of the nine votes needed to pass a resolution at the Council.