On Friday the United Nations Security Council [official website] failed to pass a resolution, which would have imposed [press release] an arms embargo on South Sudan with a vote of 7-0 with 8 abstentions. The resolution would have instituted an arms ban on the country as well as impose a travel ban and asset freeze against three Government and opposition figures. The vote comes as a disappointment to many rights activists, with deputy United Rights director at Human Rights Watch Akshaya Kumar stating [Amnesty report] “the Security Council had an opportunity to show that it stands with the civilian victims of this conflict. Instead, this failure gives the warring parties in South Sudan a green light to buy more weapons and material that will end up being used against civilians.” The members voting on the resolution expressed concern that the resolution would run against the national dialogue, including the new implementation of regional protection forces. The Russian Federations representative expressed concern that these sanctions had not had the results that were intended in previous, similar situations. The South Sudanese representative described even the tabling of the vote as unfortunate, expressing that it goes against the steps the young nation has taken in the past weeks.
South Sudan, which is the youngest nation on the planet, gained its independence in 2011. On December 14th a UN human rights chief expressed concern that the young nation teetered on the brink of disaster [JURIST report], citing that the country might be on the brink of an international disaster. Earlier in December the UN commission on Human rights expressed concern that areas of South Sudan are currently experiencing an ethnic cleansing. [JURIST report] In November several South Sudanese organizations co-authored a letter [JURIST report] to the African Union Commission [official website] trying to create a hybrid court in the country, which would allow the court to try members of the South Sudanese government. In September the South Sudanese government threatened to sue [JURIST report] a US based watch group after they released a report stating the the government had profited from a three year conflict in the country.