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Arms embargo hurting peace implementation: Army Spokesman

The existing arms embargo and sanctions imposed on South Sudanese officials are hindering efforts to fully implement the 2018 revitalized peace deal.

 This was revealed by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang on Friday while briefing journalists at the General Court Martial in Juba.

“We have all the uniforms and we have others but we are still carrying sticks, so how do we provide security,” asked Koang.

Om May 26th 2022, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to renew for a year, till May 31, 2023, an arms embargo against South Sudan as well as targeted sanctions of travel ban and asset freeze against individuals and entities.

Resolution 2633, says that the arms embargo shall not apply to the supply, sale or transfer of non-lethal military equipment, solely in support of the implementation of the terms of the peace agreement, as notified in advance to the Sanctions Committee.

Under the existing arms embargo South Sudan’s transitional government cannot procure weapons and ammunition from overseas.

Gen. Koang argued that it is not practical for the national army to use sticks. 

“Peace can’t be kept by sticks, there are levels when you are imposing security, there is level that requires using bare hands and there is a level that will require sticks, and there comes a level that requires firearms,” he said.

 “Some of the problems the UN has been reporting about we have not been able to handle them because we are having a huge force that is not armed, and yet our local population is properly armed to the teeth,” added Koang.

He called on the UN Security Council to lift arms embargo to enable the country shoulder its security responsibilities.

“You help us in convening the international community for the arms embargo to be lifted, so that we are able to rearm the Necessary Unified Forces,” Koang said.

“We are not calling for armament to be given to our individual units; it is for the Necessary Unified Forces because it is a neutral force that was drawn from all the parties to the conflict,” he further said.

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