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BREAKING: Security Council extends arms embargo against South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan, 28 May 2021 – The United Nations Security Council has Friday adopted a resolution to renew for a year, till May 31, 2022, an arms embargo against South Sudan as well as targeted sanctions of the travel ban and asset freeze against individuals and entities.

The UN Security Council during a past panel discussion...
The UN Security Council meeting at a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, on April 4, 2018. (photo credit: Li Muzi / Global Look Press)

This comes less than two days after the Human Rights Watch urged the UNSC to maintain an arms embargo on South Sudan in the wake of rampant violence sweeping through the country.

Resolution 2577, which was adopted with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions, extends until July 1, 2022, the mandate of the Panel of Experts, which assists the work of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

“The Security Council, acting through its written silence procedure today, renewed the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures while expressing its readiness to adjust them in light of conditions on the ground,” the Security Council said in a statement.

“Adopting resolution 2577 (2021) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter by a vote of 13 in favor to none against, with 2 abstentions (India, Kenya), the Council decided to renew until 31 May 2022 the arms embargo imposed by paragraph 4 of resolution 2428 (2018) — which prohibited the supply, sale or transfer of weapons, as well as the provision of technical assistance, training, and other military assistance, to the territory of South Sudan,” it said.

The Security Council also “expressed its readiness to review the embargo measures — including through their modification, suspension or progressive lifting — in light of progress achieved on five key benchmarks.”

“Those included the completion by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity of stages 1, 2 and 3 of the country’s strategic defense and security review; the formation of a unified command structure and redeployment of the Necessary Unified Forces; progress on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; progress on properly managing existing arms and ammunition stockpiles; and the implementation of the Joint Action Plan for the Armed Forces on addressing conflict-related sexual violence.”

“In addition, the Council decided to renew until 31 May 2022 the travel and financial measures imposed by paragraphs 9 and 12 of resolution 2206 (2015) and decided to keep those sanctions under continuous review in light of progress achieved implementing all provisions of the Revitalised Agreement, as well as developments related to human rights violations and abuses.

“It further expressed its readiness to consider adjusting, modifying, suspending, lifting or strengthening those measures in response to the situation on the ground.”

The council went on and threatened to impose sanctions “in support of an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan, noting that the sanctions Committee can consider requests for the delisting of individuals and entities.”

The Council also extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan until July 2022 and also “required the panel to provide the Council with an interim report by 1 December 2021, a final report by 1 May 2022, and except in months when those reports are due, updates each month.”

It also “called upon all parties, organizations and the Member States, especially those neighboring South Sudan, to cooperate with the panel.”

America reacts

The United States mission to the UN welcomed the renewal of the arms embargo saying a lot was still needed to be done to ensure its total implementation.

“The resolution the Council adopted today to renew the UN sanctions regime for South Sudan, to include an arms embargo and targeted measures, and the mandate of the Panel of Experts, continues to play a critical role in decreasing conflict and promoting peace,” said the US mission to the United Nations.

“The United States thanks members of the Security Council for their constructive engagement on this resolution including on the creation of benchmarks that can guide the Council in reviewing sanctions measures,” it added.

“We hope these benchmarks encourage South Sudan’s Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity to make important progress on implementing the peace agreement, and ultimately ending the conflict that has been so devastating for South Sudan.”


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