National, News

Kiir pleads for end to arms embargo

By Bida Elly David

As South Sudan’s unity government races against time to conclude its peace roadmap implementation, President Salva Kiir calls on UN Security Council to lift off the arms embargo, it struck on Juba.

The president made the appeal to signatories of the sanctions’ regime during a meeting with his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, last week.

He said abolishing the sanction would help speed up the implementation of the transitional security arrangement, which is the backbone of the revitalized peace agreement.

President Kiir on Tuesday, jetted for South Africa on an official working visit, where he met Cyril Ramaphosa, and discussed a variety of bilateral and regional issues.

Based on the recent resolution from the cabinet, South Sudan government was supposed to conclude all necessary preparations for the deployment of Phase one and graduation of phase two unified forces.

However, the process is yet to materialize, though being derailed by the arms embargo.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently extended for another year the arms embargo imposed on South Sudan and targeted sanctions on individuals, including asset freezes and travel bans.

Some members of the UN Security Council however, stressed that instead of sanctions, the country needs a carefully managed support system to facilitate its transitional journey and overcome its security issues.

In a posted on Facebook page, presidential affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, noted that Kiir urged Cyril Ramaphosa to help South Sudan in the process of breaking free from the sanctions.

He said Kiir briefed President Ramaphosa about the negative impact the arms embargo is having on the implementation of the security arrangement and the national defense.

“President Kiir shared with President Ramaphosa the negative implications of the arms embargo on South Sudan, calling on the pen holders to abolish the sanctions on South Sudan,” Marial was quoted as saying.

The two leaders committed themselves to working together to strengthen relations in various sectors and join forces to garner regional and global support for peace and stability in South Sudan and Sudan.

The Foreign Affairs minister, however, did not clarify whether the South African head of state has agreed to help push the pen holders to lift sanctions and the embargo against South Sudan.

Marial described the visit as “a successful mission” that highlighted the determination of the two countries to enhance mutual political and economic relations and promote regional and global security.

Despite the sanctions, information minister, Michael Makuei, recently said that the government is not afraid of any external threats, noting that they would try by all means to graduate the forces.

Makuei blamed the Security Council for intervening in the sovereign affairs of the Country through undefined sanctions, noting that it would have no meaning if the forces were graduated without guns.

He reiterated that South Sudan hopes to equip its remaining unified forces with guns to enable soldiers to use guns properly for national defense.


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