The United Nations (UN) Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan as a measure to prevent the flow of weapons to armed groups in the North African country.

The members in favour of the imposition believe that the ban would help protect civilians, while others raised concerns that the policy would hinder the ongoing peace process in the nation.

With nine votes in favour of the policy, the resolution has been adopted obliging the 15-member UN body to immediately take necessary measures regarding the arms embargo, which is slated to remain in effect until 31 May next year.

The countries in favour of the resolution are Côte d’Ivoire, France, Kuwait, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, the UK and the US.

The remaining six countries which abstained from agreeing to the resolution include Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Russia.

“If we’re going to help the people of South Sudan, we need the violence to stop.”

The resolution decrees all UN Member States to prevent the entry of arms and related equipment of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and other spare parts, in South Sudan.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “If we’re going to help the people of South Sudan, we need the violence to stop.

“And to stop the violence, we need to stop the flow of weapons to armed groups that they are using to fight each other and to terrorise the people.”

On 27 June this year, an agreement was signed between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and South Sudan former vice-president Riek Machar to impose ceasefire between the government and opposition forces.