May 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–The world’s largest human rights group, Amnesty International has welcomed the recent renewal of the UN arms embargo on South Sudan, noting that it is an important step towards saving lives in the country.
“We welcome the renewal of the arms embargo as it is crucial to curtailing the flow of weapons that have been used to commit war crimes, human rights violations and abuses and call on the Security Council and UN members to diligently enforce it, said Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena.
The group applauded the initiative undertaken by the Council against which it will revisit the arms embargo on South Sudan and take into consideration all provisions of the peace agreement in South Sudan.
“We also welcome the benchmarks that the Council has put in place against which it will review the arms embargo in December this year, including implementation of all provisions of the peace agreement signed by parties to the conflict in South Sudan in 2018. These provisions include establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, reform of the country’s security and justice sectors, and protection of human rights at all times,” he added.
Amnesty International expressed concern about continuing waves of violence between armed groups and intercommunal clashes across the country.
“The human rights situation in South Sudan remains dire as government forces, fighters of armed opposition groups as well as armed youth continue to violate human rights on a daily basis in contravention of the country’s constitution, the 2018 revitalized peace agreement and international law. Many civilians continue to be killed and displaced from their homes, girls as young as eight have been gang-raped and human rights defenders and journalists continue to be harassed and intimidated.”
On Friday, the UN Security Council renewed until 31 May 2021 the arms embargo and targeted sanctions imposed on South Sudan during a Virtual conference.