China defends South Sudan against sanctions, ‘premature polls’

China defends South Sudan against sanctions, ‘premature polls’
Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nation.

China lashed out at a section of Western countries calling for an election in South Sudan, arguing a rushed poll would not solve the country’s woes.

 China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dai Bing, said the leadership challenges in South Sudan cannot be fixed by imposing sanctions and calling for “premature polls.”

In his remarks to the UN Security Council briefing on UNMISS, Dai underlined the need to support dialogue and reconciliation among people.  

“Election should not be regarded as a panacea to solve all the problems.”The political efforts made for dialogue and reconciliation by the parties in South Sudan should not be ignored,” Dai said. 

He called on the council to support efforts made by leaders in South Sudan by lifting sanctions already imposed on the country and part of its leadership. 

“China once again calls on the Council to listen to South Sudan’s concerns and appeals on the issue of sanctions; lift the arms embargo and other sanctions against South Sudan at an early date, and help South Sudan improve its security capacity.

He noted that there was commitment among the South Sudanese leaders to complete the remaining parts of the peace agreement before thinking of a peaceful election.

“We hope that all the parties concerned will continue to work together to achieve the remaining goals of the transitional period in accordance with the road map, so as to lay a solid foundation for the election,” he said.

Graduation of forces

Dai added that the graduation and deployment of the first cohort of South Sudan’s Necessary Unified Forces at the end of August 2022 symbolises significant progress in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“China welcomed this and believes that the NUF can play an important role in safeguarding national security and eliminating violent.’’

He took a cunning dig at the United States after Washington slashed its support for the joint monitoring bodies. Dai argued that cutting off funds meant for the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan was not a solution to the peace process either.

“[The] cutting off of funds while complaining about delays in implementing the agreement is not an effective solution to the problem,” he noted. 

He said that the Council’s sanctions against South Sudan are not conducive to the NUFs accessing the security equipment needed to carry out their mandates.

He called on the international community to help South Sudan with humanitarian aid.

“Affected by floods, food shortages, violent conflicts and other factors, South Sudan is going through dire humanitarian challenges, and is in urgent need of help,” he said.

He reiterated that reducing humanitarian aid would worsen the situation in South Sudan.   

“Under such circumstances, reducing development assistance and imposing indiscriminate sanctions are making things worse.’’

The statement by the Chinese top official comes just days after the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) voted and overwhelmingly endorsed South Sudan’s quest to increase the term of the transitional period by an extra 24 months. This move has however, been opposed by the Troika countries and the European Union. According to them, the leaders need to provide blueprints on how they will be accomplishing the pending tasks which they ought to have wrapped up in the 2018 peace deal.

The Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei, recently told off the Troika and EU for blowing hot and cold on the matter, saying South Sudan would proceed with her plans without them ‘‘if they so wish.’’