Canadian minister clarifies arms embargo on South Sudan

The Canadian Minister for International Development and Minister for Pacific Economic Development Harjit Sajjan (Photo: Kiden StelaMandela)

By Taban Henry

A visiting Canadian Minister for International Development who is also responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Harjit Sajjan has backed up the recently renewed UNSC arms embargo South Sudan saying it’s important for the country’s peace and stability.

The UN Security Council voted by a narrow margin on Thursday last week, extending an arms embargo, travel ban and financial sanctions for targeted individuals in South Sudan for one more year. However the government of South Sudan protested the resolution of the UNSC to renew the arms embargo on South Sudan for another year since it was introduced in 2017 when the country plunged into a political crisis.

Information Minister and Government’s spokesperson, Michael Makuei said the government was dissatisfied and disappointed with the resolution of the UNSC because the resolution, in the opinion of the government doesn’t serve the interest of the people of South Sudan and doesn’t in any way serve the proper implementation of the peace agreement.

However, the visiting Canadian government official welcomed the renewal of the targeted sanctions on individuals and arms embargo on South Sudan.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Saturday Harjit Sajjan, the Canadian Minister of International and Pacific Economic Development Agency said that sanctions and arms embargo is very important for South Sudan because the country has to focus on stability. 

He argued that the people of South Sudan have to focus on stability because conflict is not a place for the country.

He said there is no need for more arms in the country citing that there are numbers of arms here, where there is need to create economic opportunities for the people.

“The ministry of international development from Canada is to tap into the potential of this country. We have citizens from this country in Canada and it’s good to see the potential of this country. I got to visit other parts of the country like the parts of Bentiu in order to see the challenges and the agricultural sector as you see businesses trying to grow,” Sajjan said.

He added that stability is needed as the peace agreement is expiring so the government has to keep working on stability because it’s the key priority and everyone in this country is going to explore their true potential including the young generation who wants to be educated in Canada.

“My purpose of the visit is to look at and be briefed by the people who are working on the ground and talk to the people from the country so that we look on how we can improve on Gender Based Violence and food security that is taking place here in the country making sure that we prevent child soldiers and creating economic opportunities we have the resource, the people and the knowledge,” he added.

The Canadian Minister for International Development stated that they are telling the country what to do particularly offering support adding that they have been training midwives in order to sustain lives in the country citing that the mortality rate has gone down so we need to reduce conflict and focus on stability.

He mentioned that his governments are putting on more money for food security in the country while advising the people of South Sudan to look at the tremendous agricultural potentials so that they can become food secure. “We are going to work with countries across the world so that we can only rely on other nations so we are looking forward to have the true potential of this country,” he mentioned.  

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