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UN to Vote on South Sudan Arms Embargo

Youth displaced by fighting in South Sudan play soccer at Bidi Bidi refugee’s resettlement camp near the border with South Sudan, in Yumbe district, northern Uganda, Dec. 7, 2016.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote Friday on whether to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.

But diplomats say the U.S.-led measure is expected to fail, despite warnings that the new country is on the verge of possible genocide.

The United States, backed by Britain and France, has argued that cutting off the arms flow is urgently needed to stave off atrocities in the war-torn country.

Russia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Venezuela and, more importantly, the three African council members — Angola, Egypt and Senegal — have all expressed serious reservations.

The resistance comes despite a warning issued earlier this week by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that South Sudan will head toward genocide unless immediate action is taken on an arms embargo.

U.N. peacekeepers have been trying to quell the civil war in South Sudan since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011. It descended into war in December 2013, leaving tens of thousands dead and more than 3.1 million people displaced.