Security Council rejects arms embargo on South Sudan
UN fails to protect civilian population against new crimes (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) criticizes the World Security Council because, yesterday, the highest UN body had rejected an arms embargo against the conflict parties in southern Sudan and had failed to agree on targeted sanctions against the three most influential warmongers in the young state. “Apparently, the World Security Council is unable to prevent genocide crimes and to effectively protect the civilian population. This is a slap in the face for hundreds of thousands of refugees in South Sudan and the neighboring countries, which had hoped that the international community could take decisive action and put an end to the killing. With this ‘carte blanche’ for the warmongers and warlords in South Sudan, the World Security Council is about to lose all its credibility regarding measures to stop these severe human rights violations,” explained the STP’s Africa-expert, Ulrich Delius, in Göttingen on Christmas Eve.
On Friday, the World Security Council failed to adopt the draft resolution, which had been submitted by the United States. A majority of nine votes is required to adopt a resolution, but only seven states voted in favor of the draft. Eight other countries (Russia, China, Egypt, Senegal, Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Japan) had abstained.
Several human rights organizations had been calling for a comprehensive arms embargo against all conflict parties in South Sudan for months, as an attempt to prevent further human rights violations and clashes between the various armed groups.
“Those who – against the background of decades of gruesome genocide crimes and attacks against the civilian population in South Sudan – refuse to support an arms embargo can only be seen as ignorant and irresponsible,” explained Delius. The country is characterized by a cycle of violence and impoverishment, which can only be interrupted by keeping the militias and armed forces from purchasing ever new weapons systems.
During the last few weeks, UN human rights experts had repeatedly warned about an imminent genocide in the country, pointing out that there had been reports about ethnic cleansing, rape, lootings, arbitrary arrests, and politically motivated killings.
Header photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider