Russia, Angola help South Sudan avoid sanctions
UNITED NATIONS (AFP)
Sept 15, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Russia and Angola on Tuesday blocked a US request for UN sanctions to be imposed on South Sudan s army chief and a rebel commander for failing to uphold a peace deal and stop fighting, diplomats said.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the move followed a recent visit to Moscow by the foreign ministers of Sudan and South Sudan who made the case against resorting to sanctions.
“The United States, they just say sanctions, sanctions, sanctions but in some cases it aggravates the situation,” Churkin told reporters.
The United States had requested that a global travel ban and assets freeze be imposed on South Sudan s army chief Paul Malong and rebel commander Johnson Olony for their role in the continued fighting.
Security Council members were given until 1900 GMT to raise objections to the US request and diplomats confirmed that Russia and Angola had blocked the move.
The 15-member council is seeking to pile pressure on President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to implement a peace deal signed last month that has failed to end the fighting.
The council agreed in July to slap sanctions on six commanders — three from the government side and three from the rebels — the first to be blacklisted by the United Nations in the conflict.
The world s youngest nation, South Sudan descended into bloodshed in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, then his deputy, of planning a coup.
The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and the impoverished country split along ethnic lines.
– Ban invites leaders –
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited Kiir and Machar to New York for a meeting on September 29 to shore up the latest peace accord, but it appeared doubtful that the president would attend.
Kiir told reporters in Juba earlier that he was “fully committed” to ending his country s war.
The UN meeting to be held on the sidelines of the General Assembly session would include envoys from key neighboring countries as well as the United States, Britain and other European states.
Ban “hopes it will be attended at the highest level to ensure that the implementation of the agreement receives the fullest possible support from the international community,” a UN spokesperson said.
Machar s spokesman, Dickson Gatluak, told AFP that the rebel leader will be in New York from September 26 and will attend the meeting convened by Ban.
A new list of speakers at the General Assembly session released Tuesday meanwhile featured South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga, suggesting that Kiir had no plans to come to the UN.
Last year, Kiir failed to turn up at a meeting on South Sudan also organized during the high-level session of the General Assembly.