“It’s about our image” – South Sudan Gov’t tells UN, want a review of the arms embargo extension
South Sudan’s government says the extension of the arms embargo says a lot about the image of the country. Amb. Thomas Kenneth Elisapana, the Acting spokesperson in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation explained that lifting the sanctions would clear the image of the country and would accord it a great opportunity to start acting once again with the partners for the wellbeing of South Sudanese people.
He explained that the government is shocked, dismayed, and surprised with the extension of the arms embargo and the targeted sanctions on the Republic of South Sudan for another year by the United Nations Security Council in its Resolution No. 2577 adopted on Friday 28‘” May 2021.
In his memo seen by NCMP, He is calling on the international community to ‘review’ the restrictions. He broached that the punitive measure undermines the sovereignty of South Sudan, jeopardizes the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflicts in the Republic of South Sudan.” Said Amb. Thomas Kenneth Elisapana.
He added that by extending arms embargo, graduation of the National Unified Forces (NUF) will greatly be negatively affected, and will eventually weaken South Sudan socially, economically, politically and in any unprecedented aggression internally or externally.
The UNSC resolution implies the prohibition of the supply, sales, transfer of weapons as well as provision of technical assistance, training, and military supports to South Sudan. The targeted sanctions entail travel bans and finance/assets freeze for individuals and entities.
He mentioned in clear terms that If the international community really needs improvement of the situation in South Sudan for the better as it alleges, then the Government thinks this is the right time for lifting the sanction.
It will be recalled that the international rights groups had earlier warned about the lifting of the arms embargo. Also the US envoy to South Sudan encouraged the government to go ahead with the graduation and deployment of the unified forces, that the country doesn’t need more arms.
The UN Security Council voted to extend the sanction regime for a year despite resistance from two countries— India and Kenya that absented from the vote. The Security Council first slapped an arms embargo on South Sudan in 2018 which has since been renewed several times.
The arms embargo empowers all UN Member States to prevent arms and related equipment of all types – including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and any spare parts – from entering South Sudan. Friday’s resolution renews the arms embargo until 31 May 2022 when a new vote is expected.