Nov 30, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Amnesty International has called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to maintain the arms embargo after confirming shocking cases of extreme violence by government forces and an increase in attacks on civilians.
The international human rights watchdog said that it has observed a series of extrajudicial executions, forced displacement, torture, and destruction of civilian property by government and former opposition forces between April and June 2020 in Central Equatoria State, southwest of the capital Juba.
This call comes as the UNSC is set to conduct a mid-term review of its arms embargo and other measures on South Sudan before 15 December.
According to Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director, at the time South Sudan was calling on the UNSC to lift the arms embargo government soldiers were busy shooting civilians, burning homes, raping women and girls, and displacing tens of thousands of people from their villages.
“Earlier this year, as South Sudan’s officials called for the arms embargo to be lifted, 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,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director.
Deprose further stated that the attrocities being committed in the country compound decades of suffering from war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The atrocities of this conflict compound the decades of suffering of the millions of South Sudanese, who survived war crimes and crimes against humanity during the struggle for independence from Sudan,” Deprose Muchena added.
He further said that 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,” he said.
Deprose Muchena further said that SSPDF and SPLA-IO soldiers have continued to violate the international humanitarian law and are failing to protect civilians.
“While these horrific attacks continue, it is vital that the UNSC demands South Sudan ends these war crimes and brings the perpetrators to justice, while maintaining the arms embargo on the country,” he said.
Amnesty International is now calling on the UNSC to prioritize consideration of the state’s atrocious human rights record, not simply the fragmented implementation of the provisions of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.