China joins South Sudan in push for lifting sanctions

By William Madouk

A Chinese envoy to the United Nations has called on the international community to lift all forms of sanctions, including an arms embargo on South Sudan, to allow the government to address rampant insecurity.

Addressing the UN Security Council meeting on Monday, charge d’affaires of China’s permanent mission to the UN, Dai Bing mourned over recent violence witnessed in South Sudan and calls on partners to cease hostilities.

“Recently, we have seen escalated violence across many regions in South Sudan, including Upper Nile, Jonglei and Equatoria,” Dai said.

“China calls on all parties concerned to immediately cease hostilities and settle their differences through dialogue and negotiation,” he added.

Dai noted that the government’s deployment of security forces in the Nile Corridor has helped stabilize the local situation, adding that sanctions must be lifted to enable Kiir’s regime to fully protect civilians.

“The (Security) Council sanctions on South Sudan have restricted the government’s security capacity to protect civilians and must be lifted immediately,” Dai emphasised.

According to him, bringing about stability and serenity in Upper Nile shows that the country’s security must be maintained by its government.

The envoy said that the year 2023 is crucial for South Sudan as the country implements the Revitalized Agreement and advances the political transition.

He cited that, at this critical time, the international community should continue to exercise patience, and give support and encouragement to South Sudan to help it overcome the hitches in the implementation of the agreement and electoral preparations with tangible actions.

Dai pointed out that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has made important contributions to peace and stability in the country.

However, “it merits our attention” that the mandate of UNMISS has been expanding in recent years, some parts of which are clearly beyond the competence of a peacekeeping mission and others may undermine the trust between the mission and the host government,” he said.

“We hope the Security Council will concentrate on the core mandate of peacekeeping operations when discussing the draft resolution on the renewal of the UNMISS mandate, abide by the three principles of peacekeeping, and make practical arrangements in light of the most pressing tasks in South Sudan,” said Dai.

In May 2022, the UN Security Council extended the arms embargo and targeted sanctions against South Sudan for another year.

The directive came up after Albania, Brazil, France, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States voted in favour of the extension of sanctions while China, Gabon, India, Kenya and Russia abstained.

The embargo provided a setback to the Juba administration which was waiting eagerly for a reprieve to buy arms to graduate the forces, especially after President Salva Kiir decried the consequence of the restrictions on the chapter on security arrangements.

However, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, Edmund Yakani, told the media earlier that the government of South Sudan had the key to convincing the UNSC to lift the arms embargo by fully implementing the Agreement.

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