UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – The UN Security Council on Friday imposed a sweeping arms embargo on South Sudan as the country continues to wrangle with ongoing conflict.

In all, nine states on the 15-member council voted in favor of the U.S.-drafted resolution; six abstained including, Russia, China, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Bolivia.

"South Sudan’s people have endured unimaginable suffering and unspeakable atrocities," Nikki Haley, the U.S.'s UN envoy, told the council. "The arms embargo is a measure to protect civilians and help stop the violence. For negotiations to work, we must end the cycle of broken promises to stick to a cease-fire."

The arms embargo on the youngest country in the world is in response to ongoing ethnic violence that has mired South Sudan since shortly after its creation in 2011.

In addition to the embargo the resolution imposes a travel ban and asset-freeze on South Sudan's deputy defense chief, Malek Reuben Riak Rengu.

Forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir have been warring with loyalists to Riek Machar, his former vice president, since 2013.

A 2015 peace deal failed to stop the violence.

Talks to end the violence are ongoing in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, and an announcement is expected in the coming days.

Paul Malong Awan, Kiir's former chief of staff, was also sanctioned as part of Friday's resolution.

*Betul Yuruk contributed to this story from the United Nations

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