NEW YORK – The British government has welcomed last month’s renewal of arms embargo and sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on South Sudan, and yet warned that failure to protect aid workers may result in introduction of newer ones.
Speaking during a briefing to the UN Security Council by the SRSG and head of UNMISS, Nicholas Haysom, acting British envoy to the UN, James Roscoe, stressed that there is a significant humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and people are in need of food assistance.
“…..we should also acknowledge that there is a significant humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, and many more people are in need of humanitarian assistance than at any time since South Sudan’s independence. The great tragedy of this is of course that it is largely man-made and largely preventable,” Mr. Roscoe told the Council.
The British diplomat urged the government of South Sudan to cooperate with the donor community in addressing the crisis and also to address the rampant corruption that is partly contributing to the humanitarian crisis in the world’s youngest country.
“We call on the Government of South Sudan today to take responsibility and act in genuine partnership with the donor community to address this crisis because development assistance is only part of the solution. The government must themselves tackle corruption, drive economic reform and respect the Status of Forces Agreement,” he said.
He stressed that “obstructions against aid workers are unacceptable, as is the killing of humanitarian workers. We urge the South Sudanese authorities to take action to guarantee the safety of those delivering life-saving assistance and to hold perpetrators to account.”
On failure by the government to humanitarian aid workers, the British diplomat threatened: “And if they fail to do so, we need to consider new sanctions listings.”
“We welcome that this Council recently renewed the arms embargo, sanctions regime and the Panel of Experts’ mandate. We encourage the Government to take forward tasks on the arms embargo benchmarks, including the establishment of the Necessary Unified Force with a genuinely unified command.”