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Amnesty International urges UN to impose arms embargo on S. Sudan

July 5, 2018 (NAIROBI) - As the UN Security Council meets on Friday to review measures aimed at bringing long-overdue peace and stability to South Sudan, the imposition of a comprehensive arms embargo to cut off the supply of weapons being used to kill, maim and destroy the people’s lives, a campaign group said Thursday.

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President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Khartoum on 26 June 2018 (Photo SUNA)

“The people of South Sudan have suffered gross human rights violations and war crimes for more than four years now and the world has done very little to end them. The UN Security Council must step up and take a leadership role in ending these atrocities by stopping the flow of arms into South Sudan,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The campaign group further urged the 15-member Security Council and the international community, including manufacturers and suppliers of arms, to take decisive steps to end mass atrocity crimes committed in South Sudan by drying up its supply of weapons.

“We are asking all nations to show that they stand with civilians in South Sudan and stop selling or allowing arms destined for the country to be trafficked through their territories,” stressed Magango.

In February this year, the Donald Trump administration imposed a United States arms embargo on civil war-torn South Sudan while urging the UN and other countries to do the same.

The State Department, in a statement, said the US was restricting all sales of defence equipment and services to all parties to South Sudan’s conflict, saying it is appalled by the continuing violence.

While the US itself does not currently sell weapons to the war-torn nation, the embargo also applies to US companies and individuals.

South Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than two million since December 2013.

(ST)