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South Sudan hails five countries for abstaining on UNSC vote on sanctions

South Sudan’s transitional unity government on Thursday applauded what it termed as “friendly countries” that recently abstained from voting on extending sanctions, arms embargo on the country.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday passed Resolution 2683 (2023) extending sanctions, arms embargo and asset freezes and travel bans till May 31, 2024 on South Sudan.

Five countries including China, Gabon, Ghana, Mozambique and the Russian Federation abstained from the vote.

 “The government of the Republic of South Sudan extends its profound gratitude to the friendly governments of the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Ghana, Gabon, and Mozambique for their steadfast support of South Sudan by abstaining from that unfair vote,” said a statement issued by the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

The UNSC cited continued intensification of violence which it said prolongs the political, security, economic, and humanitarian crisis in most parts of the country to extend the sanctions.

 The ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation said the Security Council’s decision is oblivious to the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

“Sanctions, as experience has shown, do not only affect the targeted segments but also trade, commerce, and the economy, in addition to the very peace and security that the proponents of the resolution are purportedly trying to maintain,” it said.

It noted that the revitalized transitional government of national unity (R-TGoNU) will continue to redouble efforts to implement the 2018 revitalized peace agreement in order to create conducive atmosphere for democratic, free and fair elections by December 2024.

 “It has not taken into account the significant strides that the government has made in implementing the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (RARCSS) as well as developmental progress in the country,” it said.

The Security Council imposed in July 2018 sanctions, arms embargo on South Sudan following outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

The parties to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement have already graduated nearly 50,000 of the 83,000 unified forces charged with securing the country.

Under the August 2022 extended roadmap, South Sudan is supposed to hold elections in December 2024, but a range of key issues within the roadmap are still pending.

The parties have not yet enacted permanent constitution, electoral laws and established necessary electoral institutions.

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