Security Council extends sanctions against South Sudan, adopting resolution 2633 (2022) by 10 votes in favour, with 5 abstentions – South Sudan
9045TH MEETING (morning)
The Security Council today extended the sanctions regime imposed on South Sudan, including an arms embargo, travel ban and financial measures, for a year, even as some of its members questioned the effectiveness of these measures.
Resolution 2633 (2022) (to be issued as S/RES/2633(2022)) was adopted with a vote of 10 in favor (Albania, Brazil, France, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom United States) unopposed, with 5 abstentions (China, Gabon, India, Kenya Russian Federation).
Through this text, the Council strongly condemned past and ongoing human rights violations in South Sudan and expressed its deep concern at the continuing fighting in that country. It also decided to renew, until 31 May 2023, the measures on arms imposed by resolution 2428 (2018), which orders all Member States to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the territory of South Sudan.
New conditions extended the financial and travel measures put in place by resolution 2206 (2015), which required all Member States to take measures to freeze the financial assets of designated individuals and prevent their entry into or transit through their territory .
In its other words, the Council decided to extend until 1 July 2023 the mandate of the Panel of Experts, as set out in paragraph 19 of resolution 2428 (2018), further deciding that the Panel should submit to the Council an interim report by December 1, 2022, a final report by May 1, 2023, and updates in the other months of this period, after discussion with the sanctions committee.
The Council reaffirmed its readiness to review arms embargo measures, including by modifying, suspending or phasing out such measures, in the light of progress on key benchmarks. It also requested the Secretary-General, in close consultation with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Panel, to conduct an assessment of progress made no later than 15 April 2023.
Speaking after the adoption, the representative of South Sudan denounced the sanctions as counterproductive and ill-intentioned from the start. Regarding the Council’s belief that the measures will resolve the conflict in his country, he said: “After all these years, we know better.” The sanctions could even aggravate the economic misery the people of South Sudan are currently enduring, he warned, calling on the international community to give more encouragement and material support to South Sudan. Expressing his gratitude to Council members who have tried to balance the term, he warned that waiting until the end of the term each year to point out gaps in implementation will not yield any positive results.
Several delegates questioned the effectiveness of current sanctions, while emphasizing the need to change strategy.
The representative of Kenya said the text did not respond to calls from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union to lift the arms embargo and sanctions. He noted that while some proposals from A3 (Kenya, Gabon, Ghana) were incorporated into the text, more could have been done to relax restrictions on capacity building and technical assistance.
The representative of India, noting that his country is one of the largest troop contributors to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), stressed that the country faces a host of political and security challenges. , typical of the new nations. He went on to highlight the continued improvements in the security sector as well as the efforts towards an inclusive political dialogue, and called on the Council to address the concerns of Juba and those of the wider region regarding the sanctions. .
The delegate from the Russian Federation stressed that sanctions must be fully justified and nuanced. She said that while preparing the resolution, the United States ignored calls from South Sudan and other African countries on the importance of showing respect to Juba. She also cited Note 507, which states that co-sponsors must give colleagues a role in preparing resolutions and carrying out consultations. Yet the United States has placed its own interests above those of South Sudan and others in the region, she said.
In the same vein, the representative of China said that the United States had forced a vote on a text which does not enjoy consensus, adding that the Council should adopt measures to gradually relax punishments. He went on to note that China had put forward proposals to exempt non-lethal training and equipment from sanctions, but the country that was stubbornly facilitating the project had failed to demonstrate the required fairness and inclusiveness.
The representative of Gabon, noting that South Sudan, the youngest state in the United Nations, had been placed under sanctions four years after its birth, said that for seven years its people had been living under a sanctions regime whose efficiency is below expectations. The armed forces of South Sudan need tools to fulfill their mandate of defending the territorial integrity of the country, he added, stressing that the international community must focus its efforts on post-conflict reconstruction and the peacebuilding.
The delegate from Ghana stressed the importance of capacity building and called on the international community to help South Sudan implement the Revitalized Peace Agreement.
Today’s meeting started at 10:22 a.m. and ended at 10:47 a.m.
For news media. Not an official record.