(JUBA) – The European Union (EU) say is it ready to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan if the country’s warring parties do not cease hostilities and ignore ongoing peace talks.
“If there is no peace and accountability, we cannot just implement development programmes in South Sudan,” the German ambassador to South Sudan, Jan Hendrrik van Thiel told reporters in the capital, Juba on Wednesday.
“The EU will renew its longstanding arms embargo on South Sudan,” he added.
The official, however, appealed to South Sudanese leaders to commit themselves to achieving lasting peace in the war-hit nation.
“It is time the leaders from all sides in South Sudan brought peace and stability to the country,” stressed the diplomat.
The threat of an arms embargo comes a day after the United States on circulated a draft United Nations Security Council resolution that threatens to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and to take “all appropriate measures” against those blocking its peace efforts.
The draft text from the U.S reportedly demands an end to four years of fighting in South Sudan and urges the warring sides to uphold three ceasefire accords agreed upon from July 2016.
The Security Council, according to the draft resolution, “expresses its intention to consider all appropriate measures, including an arms embargo, to disable the parties’ ability to procure weapons and ammunition so that the peace process can proceed”.
Although negotiations on the proposed measure ahead of a vote at the council scheduled for March 15 begin on Thursday, there are fears Russia and China could opposed the draft resolution from U.S.
Now in its fifth year, the conflict in South Sudan has left tens of thousands of people dead, more 2 million displaced and half of the population at threat of facing severe starvation, aid agencies say. A recent report by the United Nations and South Sudan government said up to 150,000 people could slip into severe famine this year.