UNITED NATIONS — The United States is proposing the creation of a U.N. sanctions committee for the South Sudan crisis and says an arms embargo is possible if the warring sides can’t stick to a peace deal.
A draft resolution circulated among U.N. Security Council members on Tuesday doesn’t explicitly name South Sudan President Salva Kiir or rebel leader Riek Machar as possible targets for sanctions that would include an asset freeze and travel ban, but it says people affected could include “leaders of any entity.”
The resolution itself wouldn’t impose sanctions but would set up the mechanism for doing so.
The United States has threatened further action on the South Sudan conflict for months, beyond its own bilateral sanctions on the country. Multiple cease-fires in South Sudan have failed, and tens of thousands have died in more than a year of fighting that has had ethnic overtones. Two million people have been displaced.
Ivan Simonovic, the U.N. assistant secretary-general for human rights, warned the council Tuesday that “both sides seem to be rearming and preparing for a new military campaign.”
“Certainly, we would support an arms embargo,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters earlier Tuesday. He said several diplomats at the council’s monthly lunch on Monday with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wanted “a stronger stance by the Security Council toward the leaders who are being so disregarding of the suffering of the people of South Sudan.”