The United States is proposing that the U.N. Security Council impose an arms embargo on South Sudan after its president shocked rebels and observers by refusing to sign a peace deal.
The U.S. circulated a draft resolution to council members Wednesday evening, and diplomats said they expected a vote very soon. “Imminent, I think that was the word,” New Zealand Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen told reporters.
The draft, seen by The Associated Press, says that if South Sudan’s government doesn’t sign the peace deal by Sept. 1, additional people “including the senior political leaders of South Sudan” will face sanctions.
The text circulated shortly after South Sudan President Salva Kiir told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone call that he would sign the peace deal after “a couple of more days of consultation.”
Rebel leader Riek Machar signed the deal Monday. The U.S. called Kiir’s refusal to do the same “outrageous.” Previous peace agreements to end South Sudan’s conflict, which has killed thousands since late 2013, have failed.
Kiir on Monday said he needed another 15 days to think about signing the agreement. If those 15 days end without the government signing, diplomats said the draft resolution’s punitive actions would take effect.
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