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Amnesty Int’l warns against lifting arms embargo on S Sudan

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2021

File: A stockpile of small arms seized from civilians in a past disarmament exercise.

Amnesty International warned against lifting of the UN arms embargo on South Sudan saying the move could have dire consequences for human rights.

The UN Security Council is expected to decide next week on the future of the embargo.

On July 13, 2018, the Council imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan’s territory, legally obliging all UN member states to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of arms and related material – including ammunition, military vehicles, and spare parts.

The embargo also bans technical support, training, financing, or other assistance related to military activities to South Sudan.

The 15-member Council will vote on 27 May on whether to lift or extent restrictions.

But Amnesty International said the South Sudanese government has continued to fail to protect civilians from being killed, displaced, and raped by armed groups and militias.

It argued that the State security forces and armed groups continue to violate international humanitarian law, in some cases amounting to war crimes, with impunity.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the rights watchdog urged the Security Council to first ensure a range of human rights benchmarks are met before the embargo can be lifted.

These include an end to crimes under international law, reform of the National Security Service, and the establishment of a Hybrid Court to ensure accountability.

The UN arms embargo on South Sudan currently expires on May 31, 2021.

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