Explanation of Vote on the Resolution Regarding the UN Security Council Sanctions Regime for South Sudan

U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
May 29, 2020


The United States thanks members of the Security Council for their constructive engagement on the resolution to renew the UN sanctions regime for South Sudan, to include an arms embargo and targeted measures, and the mandate of the Panel of Experts.

This resolution recognizes positive steps taken by South Sudan’s leaders to advance the peace process. It states clearly that the Security Council will review sanctions measures based on progress achieved by South Sudan on implementing its peace agreement. The United States believes this resolution will encourage South Sudan’s leaders to continue prioritizing peace over conflict and to make decisions in the best interest of their people, who have suffered so much from this conflict.

Challenges and risks remain on South Sudan’s path to peace and the situation on the ground is volatile, with key elements of the peace agreement still awaiting implementation. Lifting sanctions measures at this sensitive turning point would have removed an important incentive for the formerly warring parties to refrain from leading the country back into widespread conflict.

The United States credits progress in South Sudan’s peace process to the dedicated diplomacy of the region. The role of the African Union, IGAD, and other regional players has been and will remain essential. Nevertheless, we believe the UN sanctions measures renewed today create space for peace to thrive in South Sudan by reducing the flow of weapons to one of Africa’s deadliest conflicts and encouraging critical reforms outlined in the peace agreement.

We urge South Sudan’s leaders to remain focused on addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of their people, respecting human rights, and ensuring accountability, including for sexual and gender-based violence. Too many people – especially women and children – have lived in fear through this conflict. This resolution works to safeguard their rights, as we retain the ability to designate individuals and entities for human rights violations and abuses and to deter efforts of spoilers to the peace process.

The United States stands ready to work closely with South Sudan’s new transitional government as it continues to implement its peace agreement. We reiterate that the United States is prepared to advocate for further adjustments to this sanctions regime in response to tangible progress in the peace process.

The United States remains committed to supporting peace and security in South Sudan. There is no bigger supporter of the South Sudanese people than the United States.