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UN Security Council considers sanctions on South Sudan


February 25, 2015 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is considering sanctions on both sides of the South Sudanese conflict for continued fighting despite several commitments to honour a signed ceasefire agreement.

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A UN Security Council meeting (Photo: UN/Paulo Filgueiras)

A draft resolution, obtained by Sudan Tribune, has been circulated among the UNSC, calling for a committee to approve targeted sanctions on leaders involved in a conflict that has already killed thousands and displaced millions.

The United States is behind the draft resolution calling for sanctions on South Sudan.

The conflict, which broke out in late 2013, followed disagreements within the ruling party (SPLM) led by president Salva Kiir, but later turned into what has now been perceived as a power struggle between Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar.

South Sudan opposes calls for sanctions, with its UN ambassador telling the UNSC that sanctions “would only generate adversarial relationship and aggravate the situation”.

“It is one thing to condemn the leadership of the country and threaten the imposition of sanctions, which, as I have had occasion to say to the Council, would only generate adversarial relationship and aggravate the situation,” Francis Deng said on Tuesday.

However, the UNSC underscored its willingness to impose targeted sanctions in order to support the search for an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan.

Sanctions will apply to individuals and entities “responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan”.

Both warring parties signed a cessation of hostilities agreement early last year and recommitted to it, but are yet to fully respect the deal.

This month, the two parties signed an agreement on power-sharing arrangement proposed by the East African regional bloc (IGAD), as fresh round of talks commenced in Ethiopia.

The USC expressed concerns over actions or policies such as breach of the cessation of hostilities deal as well as actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or undermine democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan.


According to the draft resolution, all UN members shall take the necessary measures to prevent entry into or transit through their territories of any individuals who may have been slapped sanctions.

The USC is also proposing that all member states freeze without delay all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by any individuals or entities as may be recommended by the committee.

The decision will reportedly also affect individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them.

“Member States shall for this initial period ensure that neither these nor any other funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectly for such persons’ benefit, by their nationals or by persons within their territory,” reads the draft resolution.

The London-based Economic Frontiers has predicted that the South Sudan conflict could cost the country between $22 and $28 billion if it continues unabated over the next one to five years.

Last year, Washington, the European Union and Canada imposed sanctions on military generals from both sides of the conflict for allegedly obstructing South Sudan talks.

However, there have also been several calls for an arms embargo on South Sudan from activists, local and international human rights groups.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 26 February 2015 20:56, by lino

    South Sudanese always bide with ACTION not WORDS. UNSC has been singing SACTIONS for may months now. Do it don’t say it!!!

    repondre message

  • 26 February 2015 21:09, by Kim Deng

    This weak sanction would yield positive impacts on Dinka Kingdom since King Slava himself and his disciples own some assets abroad.

    repondre message

    • 27 February 2015 05:20, by Eyez

      The UNSC sanctions are welcomed and way overdue, and the council should know that, making empty threats against hard headed arrogant individuals, will only fall on deaf ears, these warring factions are not looking to bring lasting peace, because, these same people are the politicians, the army generals and also the businessmen, who thrive in volatile conditions.

      repondre message

      • 27 February 2015 08:54, by Akook

        UNSC, US and EU are ignorant about South Sudan local politicians and this is the advantage these warmongering politicians are hiding behind! Look, they sanctioned Gen Deng Wol and Gen Peter Gadet who don’t even speak English and had no bank accounts. They were laughing when they heard Gadet and Deng were the ones sanctioned!

        repondre message

        • 27 February 2015 09:02, by Akook

          Sanction Kiir himself and his business networks including bank accounts, houses he and his family own in Australia and Kenya. Sanction Machar’s network in UK. Sanction Malong Awan, Nhial Deng, Makuei Lueth, Awet Akot, Akol Koor,Salva Mathok and you will see peace coming within a week!

          repondre message

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