Amnesty International has urged the UN Security Council to maintain its arms embargo on South Sudan amid “extreme violence by government forces and an increase in attacks on civilians, including war crimes”.
Amnesty said it had documented “a series of extrajudicial executions, forced displacement, torture, and destruction of civilian property by the government and former opposition forces”.
The organisation cited a four-fold increase in violence in the states of Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap, and Western Equatoria between April and June this year compared to the same period last year.
Amnesty said that as South Sudan was earlier this year calling for the embargo to be reviewed, “government soldiers were shooting civilians, burning homes, raping women and girls, and displacing tens of thousands of people from their villages in the south of the country”.
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“Quite simply, the government of South Sudan has failed to protect its people. It would be irresponsible of the Security Council to suspend or lift the arms embargo now, in light of the horrendous human rights violations being committed by government forces,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director.
The UN Security Council is due to conduct a mid-term review of its arms embargo and other measures on South Sudan before 15 December.
The council first established an arms embargo on South Sudan in 2018 which was renewed last year and subsequently extended by a year on 31 May this year.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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