EU countries commit themselves to implement arms embargo on South Sudan

August 11, 2018 (JUBA) – The Council of the European Union has committed the EU governments to implement an arms embargo on South Sudan decided last July by the United Nations Security Council.

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European flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Reuters Photo)

“The Council has transposed UN Security Council resolution 2428 (2018) which notably imposes an arms embargo and adds two persons to the list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures,” said a statement released on Friday.

On 13 July, the Security Council decided that, until 31 May 2019, all Member States will prevent the supply, sale or transfer to South Sudan of arms and related material, and withhold training, technical and financial assistance related to military activities or materials.

The narrowly adopted resolution further extended its sanctions regime in South Sudan and imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on Paul Malong Awan, the former Chief of Staff of South Sudan’s army turned rebel leader, and Malek Ruben Riak, former Deputy Chief of Staff of South Sudan’s army.

The two generals are accused of fomenting violence and hampering efforts for peace in South Sudan.

The European Union has been imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan since its independence in 2011.

In fact, the ban goes back to 1994 when the European Union has embargoed arms supplies to Sudan due to the civil war in southern Sudan. In July 2011 the embargo was amended so that it would cover arms supplies to Sudan and the newly independent state of South Sudan.

Also, Paul Malong Awan and Malek Ruben Riak have been already hit by EU sanctions since 2 February 2018 for being involved in serious human rights violations.

“The Council adopted these additional sanctions, then, in view of the ever deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in South Sudan and considering the lack of commitment by some actors to the ongoing peace process,” said the statement.

The statement further stressed that ” the total number of persons under EU restrictive measures in view of the situation in South Sudan is nine, of which eight are listed by the UN”.

Last April, the Council expressed the EU’s “deep concern” over the armed conflict and grave violations of human rights in South Sudan and called to end the fighting through a negotiated settlement.

(ST)