South Sudan criticises sanctions renewal, says it threatens peace
South Sudan has criticised the United Nations Security Council’s decision to renew sanctions against the country for another year.
The security council voted on April 30 in favour of extending the sanctions with 10 “yes” votes for the US-drafted proposal versus five votes against it. South Sudan has reacted angrily to the decision, suggesting it threatens the country’s struggling peace process by empowering rebel groups that refused to sign last year’s peace deal.
South Sudan criticises sanctions renewal
Speaking to VOA’s South Sudan in Focus programme, South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei on Friday claimed the 10 council members who voted in favour of extending the sanctions are working against South Sudan’s peace efforts.
He claimed that by extending the sanctions, which include an arms embargo placed against the country, the UN has rewarded rebel groups that refused to sign last year’s peace deal that brought an end to South Sudan’s five-year civil war.
He claimed the sanctions are being used as a weapon against South Sudan’s government which still faces the protests of some rebel groups attacking its soldiers.
However, various rights groups called for the sanctions to be extended prior to the UN Security Council meeting on April 30, including Human Rights Watch.
In a joint letter to the security council, the group insisted that “sustained international political pressure from the region and the UN Security Council (UNSC) is essential to protect the lives of civilians, ensure continued momentum towards peace for the people of South Sudan.”
Featured image: By Patrick Gruban – originally posted to Flickr as UN Security Council, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4806913