Despite AU’s ineffectiveness over the years, advocates for arms embargo removal, to visit Juba as the R-ARCSS’s expiration date approaches.
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council has scheduled a visit to South Sudan as the country approaches the end of the transitional period. The African Union has also called on the international community to lift the UN Security Council’s arms embargo and other sanctions imposed on South Sudan in order for the country to expedite the graduation of unified forces.
On 13 July 2018, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) placed a weapons embargo on South Sudan’s territory, requiring all UN member states to prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of guns and associated materiel – including ammunition, military vehicles, and spare parts.
The embargo also applies to technical aid, training, financial help, and other forms of assistance connected to military activity.
“Calls on the international community to suspend the weapons embargo and other restrictions placed on South Sudan in order for the country to create the necessary capabilities for the united military forces,
“And for them to more effectively perform their constitutional mission of safeguarding their country’s territorial integrity,” says part of an AU communiqué acquired by NCMP on January 25th, 2022.
“[AUPSC] decides to conduct a solidarity visit to South Sudan on the second anniversary of the formation of the Transitional Government on 22 February 2022, with the goal of encouraging the country as it enters the final phase of the transition and begins the laborious process to the post-transition era,” the statement said.
Among other things, the council has asked the AU Commission to take on three tasks as South Sudan approaches the conclusion of the peace deal.
These include coordinating a trilateral examination of South Sudan’s election and constitution-making requirements with the UN Secretary-Office General and the IGAD Executive Secretary and submitting a report on the evaluation within two months of the Council’s resolution.
The second proposal is for the commission to have discussions on the convening of the South Sudan Funding Pledging Conference.
This is in accordance with Chapter III, Article 3.2.8 of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, which specifies that the African Union Commission Chairperson and the UN Secretary-General would host a conference to gather rebuilding funds to help the RTGoNU.
The council also emphasized the need for the AU to provide technical assistance to South Sudan’s disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, as well as security sector reform projects.
In its statement to the peace parties, the council urged the president to hasten the rebuilding of national and local level commissions and institutions, as well as the Judicial Reform Committee and the Western Bahr el Ghazal State Assembly.
According to the document, this will enhance the executive, legislative, and judicial responsibilities of the government at both the national and state levels.
The council also urged the Presidency to look into all feasible options for providing the necessary resources, like finances and food, to finish training soldiers for the united national army.
Another unresolved problem it highlighted is the necessity for the parties to overcome concerns surrounding the unified command and control structure, as well as force ratios, in order to accelerate the establishment of the armed forces.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ghana to the AU, Ambassador Amma Adomaa Twum-Amoah; the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for South Sudan, Prof. Joram Biswaro; South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia, James Morgan; and the head of UNMISS were among those who took part in the virtual meeting.