By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
December 25, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) - The opposition faction of the South Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) outraged over UN Security Council’s failure to adopt a U.S.-drafted resolution to impose an arms embargo against South Sudan.
- Miyong Kuon SPLM-IO representative to UN (Getty Image)
The armed opposition movement on Sunday said those nations that has voted against imposition of the draft resolution have ignored the atrocities inflicted against innocent civilians by the easy flow of sophisticated weapons into the world’s newest nation.
The UN council on Friday rejected the draft resolution after the vote failed to garner the required 9 votes in favor and no vetoes by council’s permanent member states - US, Britain, Russia, France and China to pass it.
The opposition faction said the people of South Sudan were denied a chance to a peaceful end of the conflict when President Salva Kiir opted to abrogate the August peace agreement by turning guns against his peace partners in July 2016.
"Today the world has denied them [South Sudan people] another chance when the council rejected the arms embargo against South Sudan" Miyong Kuon, SPLM-IO representative to U.S. and UN in New York told Sudan Tribune in an email exchange.
The opposition diplomat stressed that imposing the arms embargo would have saved loss of lives of thousands, deescalated the war and prevented the war ravaged country from disintegration.
Miyong expressed dismay over the Council’s decision saying world leaders have missed the greatest chance to stop civilian killings and mass displacement in South Sudan.
"The decision was unfortunate and it made the world miss the chance to avoid genocide" he added.
The 15-member council secured seven votes including U.S., France and UK in favor while eight countries including Russia, China, Japan as well as the three African Council members -Egypt,Angola and Senegal all abstained.
While commending for the countries that have voted in support of the initiative the diplomat went on to saying that "World leaders should have acted to save the lives of the people instead of the regime"
He further called on the UN Security Council to reconsider the decision and allow the imposition of the arms embargo and all the other proposed sanctions.
Following the failed vote, U.S. ambassador, Samantha Power told the 15-member body that member states who favored against the resolution "are taking a big gamble that South Sudan leaders won’t instigate a catastrophe"
"It is the people of South Sudan who will pay the unbearable price," she added.
The Council’s move has also accommodated condemnation from seven rights organizations including from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty international and Enough project.
Beyond arms embargo, the U.S. drafted resolution calls for rebel leader, Riek Machar, Army chief, Paul Malong and information minister, Michael Makuuei face sanctions of asset freeze and travel ban.