Russia has disclosed that they will veto any plans by the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.
The UN chief Ban Ki-moon, had recently reported that the Salva Kiir-led government had done little to allow extra 4000 peacekeepers to be deployed to the country. The extra troop were agreed to join existing 12,000 strong-force in the country.
In Ban’s letter to the council, seen by Reuters, he said “it will take some time to evaluate whether these commitments (by South Sudan) translate into improved freedom of movement on the ground or amount to business as usual.”
Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Petr Iliichev is quoted as saying: ‘‘Our opposition (to an arms embargo) doesn’t change. Yesterday we were discussing Central African Republic, where an arms embargo is in place but the country is just inundated with weapons.”
The United States and France – also permanent members of the Security Council – said they were looking to discussions on the council before taking a firm decision on the South Sudan arms embargo situation.
“If we find that there isn’t that full cooperation then yes it’ll definitely be time to look again at the arms embargo,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said.
The UN chief had told the Security Council that South Sudan’s government had agreed to the deployment extra troops but “these commitments have not yet translated into concrete actions on the ground,” AFP news agency reports.
After heavy fighting in the South Sudanese capital of Juba in July, the 15-member council raised the possibility of an arms embargo in August. Fighting broke out between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, leading to the latter fleeing the country. Kiir replaced Machar as first vice president.