Chinese diplomat says situation in South Sudan is so fragile, complex: UN should go slow on sanctions

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A Chinese envoy on Thursday called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to be prudent in taking actions to impose sanctions on South Sudan to avoid complicating the situation.

Wu Haitao, China’s deputy representative to the UN, made the appeal at a Security Council meeting on South Sudan, noting that the overall situation in the country is still grim with many difficulties in humanitarian assistance.

Wu said that in the current complex situation, the Security Council should “send more positive signals to the outside” and encourage all parties of South Sudan to continue their implementation of the peace agreement.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders in South Sudan under UN’s pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government in April, but was devastated by renewed fighting that erupted in early July.

Wu said the Security Council and relevant parties should continue to encourage South Sudan’s transitional government to enhance consultations with all parties involved and implement relevant council resolutions to promote peace and stability in the country.

“It is necessary to continue to push forward the political process on the issue of South Sudan,” said Wu.

“The international community should accelerate its efforts to have all parties in South Sudan return to the track of political settlement and peace agreement implementation so as to resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation in a joint effort to achieve peace, stability and development of South Sudan,” he added.

A UN report noted that the security situation continues to be volatile in South Sudan’s capital of Juba and its nearby areas since the outbreak of violence in July.

It finds that the increasingly heinous acts of violence perpetrated against civilians in the Equatorias, southern part of South Sudan, have exacerbated existing tenuous relations between ethnic communities throughout the country.

South Sudan has been shattered by a civil war which broke out in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denied the accusation but then mobilized a rebel force.

Tens of thousands have been killed, with more than 2 million displaced and another 4.6 million left severely food insecure since then.