VP Abdelbagi pleads for lifting of sanctions

By William Madouk Garang

The Vice-President for Service Cluster Hussein Abdelbagi Akol has pleaded with partners at the UN General Assembly to revise the imposed sanctions and arms embargo on South Sudan to enable complete and successful implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

Addressing the general debate of the UN General Assembly’s seventy-seventh session, VP Abdelbagi said sanctions imposed by UN Security Council on individuals and entities are not favoring the country.

 “We are calling upon the international community, and the UN in particular, to revise individual and targeted sanctions, arms embargo imposed on South Sudan, to enable successful completion of the remaining provisions of the peace agreement outlined in the New Roadmap,” Abdelbagi said while addressing the UN General Assembly in New York. 

On 4th August, the parties to the 2018 peace agreement agreed on a roadmap to complete the remaining tasks under the revitalized agreement, which will pave the way for elections when the transitional period ends in 2025.

Mr. Abdelbagi also reported on obstacles South Sudan is facing, saying up to 80 percent of the country has been affected by floods for the past three years making it evident that “climate change is real”.

“The severe food insecurity is worsened by combinations of shocks including flooding, prolonged draught, physical insecurity, and the effects of COVID-19,” he underlined.

Addressing the pandemic, Mr. Abdelbagi reported that South Sudan has been able to contain coronavirus spread “through thoughtful and targeted actions.”

As of 9 May, only 17,513 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 138 deaths, have been reported since the start of the pandemic, and vaccine coverage stands at 45 percent among adults.

Mr. Abdelbagi also highlighted South Sudan’s efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and beyond.

“South Sudan stands ready to mediate the current conflict between the army and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) in Sudan so that Sudan can finally enjoy lasting peace,” he said.

Recently, the South Sudan government offered to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia in their disagreement over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and in other situations that include the Tigray conflict.

“By participating in bringing regional peace and stability, South Sudan has demonstrated its ability as a reliable partner in the quest for regional and international peace and security,” he said.

“Further, the Republic of South Sudan is contributing one battalion of peacekeeping forces to be part of the East African Forces to bring peace in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” he noted.

Turning to the war in Ukraine, Mr. Abdelbagi pointed to how it has devastated lives in the Country and affected the global economy.

“From the moral point of view, the South Sudan Government is calling on Russia and Ukraine to cease all forms of hostilities and resolve the dispute through diplomatic and constructive dialogue to avert further consequences,” he said.

The UN Security Council in May renewed an arms embargo and sanctions against South Sudan amid continuing unrest in the Country.

On May 26, 2022, the UNSC renewed arms embargo and sanctions on individuals by a narrow margin that saw the approval of 10 out of the 15 council members to another one year – until May 31, 2022, due to persistent ceasefire violation and intensifying violence.

The embargo was imposed in 2018 after a peace agreement ended five years of bloody civil war.

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