South Sudan criticises sanctions renewal, says it threatens peace

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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

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.