UN Security Council extends South Sudan arms embargo

The UN Security Council overcame resistance from several countries on Thursday and extended an arms embargo and sanctions imposed in an effort to stem violence in South Sudan.

The US-drafted resolution passed with the minimum amount of support necessary, with nine countries in favor and six abstentions.

The text decried "the continued intensification of violence, including intercommunal violence, prolonging the political, security, economic and humanitarian crisis in most parts of the country."

The resolution extends an arms embargo on the country by a year to May 31, 2025.

It also extends an exemption, adopted a year ago, permitting the transfer of non-lethal military aid in support of a 2018 peace deal without necessitating prior notification.

It also affirms the Security Council's readiness to review the arms embargo measures, including their ultimate suspension or easing, "in the light of progress" on certain key issues.

The embargo "remains necessary to stem the unfettered flow of weapons into a region awash with guns. Too many people, and especially, women and children, have borne the brunt of this ongoing violence," said deputy US ambassador to the UN Robert Wood.

Juba rejects that position, along with several Security Council members including Russia, which has long demanded the lifting of the embargo.

"Lifting the arms embargo will enable us to build robust security institutions necessary for maintaining peace and protecting our citizens."

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