Britain evacuates staff from Juba, calls for sanctions


The government of the United Kingdom has supported UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.

Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, told press in New York Tuesday that his government is extremely concerned about renewed fighting in South Sudan.

“UK agrees with the UN Secretary General [Ban Ki-moon] on the need for South Sudan arms embargo. We are counting on UNSC leadership to make this a reality.”

He said UK also favours sanctions on those engaged in fighting.

Rycroft noted that his government also supports steps to strengthen the United Nations Missions in South Sudan including the possibility of adding more troops from countries in the region.

The idea of an arms embargo on South Sudan has been opposed by White House officials.

European Union officials, on the other hand, have been seeking Security Council approval for an embargo.

Britain evacuates nationals

The British government has been withdrawing staff from the South Sudanese capital Juba, where warring sides declared a ceasefire on Monday after violence killed more than 200.

While a fragile peace deal was signed in August last year, effectively ending the 2013-2015 civil war which killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.2 million, renewed fighting broke out on 7 July between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir, and those loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.

On 11 July, Machar urged his troops to stop fighting, a couple of hours after Kiir unilaterally declared a cessation of hostilities.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has streamlined its staff in Juba following the violence, and is advising any non-government or agency staff to take international flights out of Juba over the “deteriorating security situation in Juba”.

While the British authorities have confirmed the Embassy staff have been on lockdown since the start of the fighting, they have also been reducing it to only essential staff.

“We are not evacuating at the moment. We are monitoring the situation and still have a presence here in Juba,” a source within the British embassy in Juba told IBTimes UK.

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