July 17, 2018 (JUBA) – The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan as a measure to prevent the flow of weapons to armed groups in the war-hit nation.
- Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)
The members who backed the imposition of the ban believe such a move 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 Ivory Coast, France, Kuwait, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, Britain and the United States.
The remaining six countries which abstained from agreeing to the resolution include Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Russia.
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.
The US ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley argued that there was need to stop violence if the people of South Sudan were to be assisted.
“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,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) welcomed the move to impose arms embargo on South Sudan’s warring parties.
CPJ’s executive director, Tito Anthony said the arms embargo will serve as pressure points for both the government forces and armed opposition groups fighting in the country.
“An arms embargo is one step, but implementation of the resolution needs a follow up from the Security Council to monitor even the black market dealers,” Tito told Sudan Tribune Wednesday.
He called on member states of the world body to stand in solidarity with the people of South Sudan and immediately and collectively implement the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council.
“The Security Council has taken long to pass the arms embargo resolution, but better late than never,” said Tito, adding that UN members states should not allow any transit of arms to South Sudan through their country.
On 27 June, an agreement was signed between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar to impose ceasefire between the government and opposition forces.