National, News

Arms embargo bites as gov’t deploys unified forces

By Bida Elly David


Government is perplexed of how to secure firearms for the first phase of graduated Unified forces recently dispatched with sticks.

“We are unable to acquire arms from any source and as such we deployed our recent forces with sticks,” Information Minister Michael Makue Lueth said.

South Sudan has been grumbling to no heed, for a lift of an arms embargo slapped by the United Nations Security Council that has since impeded the implementation of chapter two of the peace agreement.

The minister of information told the press after a Cabinet meeting, on Friday, that the government is grounded with a lack of guns to distribute to the deployed combatants for assignments.

The minister, in furry, said that the same international community and the UN that blocked the Country’s access to arms impatiently pushed for speedy deployment of the graduated forces.

“They have been saying that we cannot deploy the forces without arms, so we deployed them and we will see when and what they will do with the sticks,’’ he added

He said the government had hoped that deployment of the forces would have happened after delisting the country from nations under arms embargo but things never worked.

Michael said, the government urged the international community and the United Nations Security Council to lift the arms embargo before deployment but without success.

“We called them to lift the arms embargo so that we arm our deployed forces for the security of the country,” he said.

Furthermore, the minister said, the arms embargo if not lifted soon will negatively impact the next phase.

Spokesperson Michael stated that the government has decided to allow forces subject to phase two to report with guns for screening.

“We are now clearing the training Centers so that Phase Two of the unified forces go to the training,” he said.

The minister noted that the trainees for Phase Two have to report to the center with their firearms.

“The unified forces that are going for training this time, nobody will be allowed to go to the training center without guns, we will graduate them with their arms,’’ he stated

He underscored that the same arms that the trainees bring will be returned to them in preparation for deployment.

In 2017, the U.S. imposed sanctions on senior South Sudanese officials including military officers and business entities on the pretext that they were obstructing the peace process.

The UN Security Council in July 2018 imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan due to renewed violence in July 2016 that violated the 2015 peace deal signed to end years of conflict.

South Sudan is barred from procuring weapons and transacting business with U.S. and European-based companies under the existing sanctions.

Despite Kiir’s efforts to plead with the international community especially the UN to lift the sanction, the calls went in vain.

Kiir recently said that individual sanctions imposed by the U.S.A, Security Council, and European Union are derailing the implementation of the peace agreement.

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