EMBARGO-Bound to hinder graduation of forces

By Wek Atak Kacjang

The graduation of Unified forces which was scheduled for the end of this month is bound to be affected by the new arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security.

Speaking to Juba Monitor on phone, South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) Spokesperson Maj. Gen Lul Ruai Koang said that there was need for arms embargo to be lifted so that they could be able to graduate forces to be able to provide basic security.

“Majority of unified forces came from different groups and many do not have personal rifle. Some of them do not have organic support weapons.The necessary Unified Forces that are in training centers are drawn from all parties to agreement such as SSPDF, SPLA-IO and SSOA that is why they are called unified forces,”

He added that for them to be considered proper unified army, they needed to have firearms for their official duties.

On late last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperationlearned with shock, dismay and surprise and stated that the United Nations Security Council in its Resolution No: 2577 adopted on 28th May last month for the renewed of arms embargo against South Sudanwould undermine the progress made in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and would affect the graduation of the National Unified Forces (NUF).

In a statement to the media over the weekend Juba Monitor learned that the Ministry had said the renewal of sanctions undermined the sovereignty ofthe Country and would definitely affect the implementation of the peace agreement in the country.

“Government was expecting the International Community to welcome the positive steps it had taken in the implementation of the R-ARCSS by lifting the sanctions.

These punitive measures undermine the sovereignty of the Nation, jeopardize progress of the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflicts in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

By extending arms embargo, graduation of the National Unified Forces (NUF) would greatly be affected, and would eventually weaken South Sudan to ascertain herself socially, economically, politically and in any unprecedented aggression internally or externally,”it stated.

The statement added that SouthSudan aspire to work mutually, understandably with all actors across the globe to curb Human Rights, inter- communal violence and carryout comprehensive Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR).

On 28th May last month, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution to renew until May 31, 2022. The Resolution 2577, which was adopted with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions, extends until July 1, 2022, the mandate of the Panel of Experts, which assists the work of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

Earlier,UN Security Council reported that they must not lift South Sudan arms embargo until human rights benchmarks were met. Lifting the UN arms embargo could have dire consequences for human rights, Amnesty International warned today, ahead of a UN Security Council vote on 27 Mayto decide the future of the embargo.
The Security Council said they must to ensure a range of human rights benchmarks are met before the embargo could be lifted. These include an end to crimes under international law, reform of the National Security Service (NSS), and the establishment of a Hybrid Court to ensure accountability.

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