US Push for South Sudan Sanctions Delayed

The prospect of a genocide is becoming more and more acute. “The United States was set this week to finally embrace an arms embargo against the world’s newest country to ratchet down the military might of its warring parties and, potentially, help spare the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire of worsening civil war. But the effort, which Washington delayed for more than two years, may now be coming too late. The South Sudanese military, which built up its arsenal during three years of civil war, is poised to launch an offensive as the annual dry season — prime time for fighting — resumes in December. And U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, struggling to mount an international response to the killing, has been forced to shelve its planned sanctions after American diplomats realized they couldn’t muster the nine votes necessary for U.N. Security Council approval.” (FP

It’s World AIDS Day is today…This year’s theme/hashtag: #HIVNotRetro. Also, the WHO has new guidance on self- testing. “In advance of World AIDS Day, WHO has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing to improve access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis. According to a new WHO progress report lack of an HIV diagnosis is a major obstacle to implementing the Organization’s recommendation that everyone with HIV should be offered antiretroviral therapy (ART). The report reveals that more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking ART, and a similar number is still unable to access treatment, the majority of which are unaware of their HIV positive status. Today, 40% of all people with HIV (over 14 million) remain unaware of their status. Many of these are people at higher risk of HIV infection who often find it difficult to access existing testing services.” (WHO

“Election” Day…In Gambia…“Gambia’s president of more than two decades is warning that even peaceful protests will not be permitted after Thursday’s election, a move that comes as people are for the first time speaking out more freely against President Yahya Jammeh’s rule. The 51-year-old, who took control of this small West African country in 1994, raised his hands in the air before thousands of singing and dancing supporters at his final campaign rally late Tuesday. Jammeh has said his victory is all but assured with divine intervention, and warned the opposition against protesting.” (AP

Quote of the Day…“For the sake of humanity we call on — we plead — with the parties and those with influence to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard,”  — Stephen O’Brien, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs to the UNSC.  (AFP