U.N. Official Urges Security Council to Impose Arms Embargo on South Sudan

FILE - Herve Ladsous, head of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, speaks to Security Council representatives in New York, Oct.14, 2014. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters)
FILE – Herve Ladsous, head of the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, speaks to Security Council representatives in New York, Oct.14, 2014. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters)

The U.N.’s head of peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous, urged the Security Council on Wednesday to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on both the government and opposition in South Sudan.

On the eve of the world’s youngest country’s fourth birthday, Ladsous told a small group of reporters that the situation on the ground was “absolutely appalling.” He cited the conflict that erupted in December 2013 between President Salva Kiir and his deputy turned political rival, Riek Machar, which has killed thousands and displaced more than 2 million people.

More than 150,000 people are being sheltered in six U.N. protection sites. The United Nations has a force of about 12,000 peacekeepers in the country.

Sanctions Imposed
Last week, the Security Council finally made good on a threat to impose sanctions against spoilers to the political process. It imposed travel bans and asset freezes on three generals loyal to Kiir and three from Machar’s opposition camp.

But Ladsous said it should not stop there. The peacekeeping chief said he would ask Security Council members in a private session Wednesday afternoon for an arms embargo on both parties.

“What really should be looked at is the possibility of more sanctions towards more leaders,” he said. “I do think that there should be a decision about an arms embargo, because it is really completely questionable that the very meager resources that the country has go into buying more weapons.”

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SOURCE: VOA News, Margaret Besheer

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