South Sudan: US to Impose Arms Restrictions Against Juba

Feb 04, 2018, 01:37
South Sudan: US to Impose Arms Restrictions Against Juba

The United States in the last days of the Obama administration tried and failed to have the U.N. Security Council impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, to the disappointment of arms researchers and rights groups who say the country is awash in weapons. The move, however, is mostly symbolic since the United States has nearly no defense trade with the East African country.

The IGAD which mediates the process, the African Union and the global community said frustrated by the failure of the warring parties in South Sudan to commit themselves to the humanitarian truce and to create a conducive environment for the revitalization process.

Humanitarian needs in South Sudan continue to escalate, mainly due to conflict, displacement and food insecurity.

Kakuma refugee camp hosts around 186,600 refugees and asylum-seekers, the majority of whom, around 106,000, are from South Sudan.

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Companies and entities seeking a license to export defense materials to South Sudan will be denied under the new restrictions. Officials say more than a million South Sudanese are on the brink of starvation, 2.4 million refugees are fleeing to neighboring countries and almost 2 million have been internally displaced.

Numerous ceasefires have been broken and tens of thousands of people killed, but there is no United Nations arms embargo on South Sudan, as attempts to do so have been stymied by Russian Federation and China.

The Trump administration is imposing a US arms embargo on civil war-torn South Sudan while urging the United Nations and other countries to do the same.

"We encourage IGAD and the African Union to consider sanctions measures against those who undermine the peace process", Nauert said in the statement.

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The US imposed sanctions on three senior officials in September a year ago. Humanitarian partners in South Sudan need US$1.7 billion to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to six million people across the country.

About a third of South Sudan's population has been displaced by the conflict, which broke out in December 2013 between supporters of President Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his deputy Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer.

South Sudan is the world's youngest country, having gained independence in 2011.

United Nations experts report South Sudan has spent millions on weapons, while the country suffers from starvation and is in the midst of an economic crisis.

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