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Russia Opposes Putting Arms Embargo On South Sudan

Russia has said it opposes placing a United Nations arms embargo on South Sudan or blacklisting President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar as such moves will not improve prospects for peace.

The arms embargo and sanctions over atrocities committed during a two-year civil war were recommended by the UN's sanctions monitor in a report this week.

But Russian Deputy UN Ambassador Petr Iliichev said they would not be "conducive for the peace process" nor ensure implementation of a peace deal agreed by the two sides in August but which has been stalled.

He added that "the region is already inundated with arms, so what we need is to control the arms that are there."

A political dispute between Kiir and Machar, who was once Kiir's deputy, sparked the civil war in 2013, in which more than 10,000 people have been killed and 2.3 million have been displaced while 3.9 million face severe food shortages.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power disagreed with Russia, saying an arms embargo and targeted sanctions could be "a means of stabilizing the situation on the ground or getting the implementation of the agreement back on track."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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