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Rights group pushes for UN arms embargo on S. Sudan

Author : | Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The rights group, Amnesty International has urged the UN Security Council to act on a report of its panel of sanction monitors who have recommended an arms embargo on South Sudan.

In a confidential annual report, the experts say both parties have continued to seek arms to use in prolonging the conflict.

They also recommended sanctions on President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar over claims that they were responsible for command of their forces and are to blame for atrocities committed.

Amnesty now says the Security Council should use the report as a basis to stop the flow of arms to South Sudan according to a press statement.

“The UN Security Council must act immediately on the recommendations of its own panel of experts and enforce a comprehensive arms embargo to halt the flow of weapons into South Sudan,” it reads.

The Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Muthoni Wanyeki, says the peace agreement has proven insufficient to end atrocities and lead to accountability.

“The arms embargo should be seen as a preventive rather than a punitive measure and be an essential step towards consolidating lasting respect for human rights. No country should be transferring arms to any party to the conflict in South Sudan until there are clear and enforceable guarantees that those arms will not be used to commit or facilitate further violations of international human rights or humanitarian law,” she said.

The countries named in the UN report as having facilitated arms transfers to South Sudan include Ukraine, which is said to have transferred helicopters and machine guns, and provided logistical assistance.

The group says the embargo should include all indirect exports via other countries, the transfer of military components and the financial or logistical activities that would facilitate arms transfers.

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