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UN Security Council to Consider South Sudan Sanctions


Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir shakes hands with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, at Khartoum Airport, Nov. 4, 2014.

The United Nations Security Council will consider a draft resolution on war-torn South Sudan that would impose sanctions targeting President Salva Kiir and his rival former vice president.

Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan, whose country currently chairs the 15-member Council, said Tuesday there is "considerable interest" in targeted sanctions and an arms embargo, but he did not announce a timetable.

On Tuesday, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations informed members of the Security Council that it would circulate a draft resolution establishing an international sanctions regime for conflict-torn South Sudan, a U.S. official said.

“The resolution will establish a mechanism for targeting individuals undermining South Sudan's political stability and abusing human rights,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“We believe targeted measures are appropriate at this time to support efforts to establish a peace agreement and cessation of hostilities,” the official said. He did not say when the draft would be circulated to the council and put to a vote.

Earlier agreement

The United States began imposing bilateral sanctions on South Sudanese officials in May, after Kiir and rival Riek Machar failed to honor a peace agreement ending months of ethnic warfare.

Under that plan, the two feuding officials were to establish a unity government, but the deal never materialized and fighting has continued largely unabated.

Fresh violence in the key northern oil town of Bentiu erupted last week, despite renewed calls from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for an immediate cease-fire.

The Bentiu fighting coincided with the end of the rainy season.

Authorities say at least 10,000 people have been killed since late last year in violence that pits Kiir's ethnic Dinka group against Machar's Nuer people.

The fighting has also displaced more than 1 million others.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.