The Security Council, acting through its written silence procedure today, renewed the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures, while expressing its readiness to adjust them in light of conditions on the ground.
Adopting resolution 2577 (2021) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (India, Kenya), the Council decided to renew until 31 May 2022 the arms embargo imposed by paragraph 4 of resolution 2428 (2018) — which prohibited the supply, sale or transfer of weapons, as well as the provision of technical assistance, training and other military assistance, to the territory of South Sudan.
The Council expressed its readiness to review the embargo measures — including through their modification, suspension or progressive lifting — in light of progress achieved on five key benchmarks. Those included the completion by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity of stages 1, 2 and 3 of the country’s strategic defence and security review; the formation of a unified command structure and redeployment of the Necessary Unified Forces; progress on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; progress on properly managing existing arms and ammunition stockpiles; and the implementation of the Joint Action Plan for the Armed Forces on addressing conflict-related sexual violence.
Council members requested the South Sudan authorities to report on progress achieved on those benchmarks, as well as additional reforms, to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) overseeing the country’s sanctions by no later than 15 April 2022. They also requested the Secretary-General, in close consultation with the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and the panel of experts assisting the sanctions committee, to conduct an assessment of progress achieved on the key benchmarks by the same date.
In addition, the Council decided to renew until 31 May 2022 the travel and financial measures imposed by paragraphs 9 and 12 of resolution 2206 (2015) and decided to keep those sanctions under continuous review in light of progress achieved implementing all provisions of the Revitalised Agreement, as well as developments related to human rights violations and abuses. It further expressed its readiness to consider adjusting, modifying, suspending, lifting or strengthening those measures in response to the situation on the ground.
Members also underscored their willingness to impose targeted sanctions in support of an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan, noting that the sanctions Committee can consider requests for the delisting of individuals and entities.
By other terms of today’s resolution, the Council decided to extend until 1 July 2022 the mandate of the panel of experts assisting the South Sudan Sanctions Committee, as laid out in paragraph 19 of resolution 2428 (2018). It required the panel to provide the Council with an interim report by 1 December 2021, a final report by 1 May 2022, and except in months when those reports are due, updates each month. It also called upon all parties, organizations and Member States, especially those neighbouring South Sudan, to cooperate with the panel.
[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March 2020 (China).]