Juba, South Sudan, June 01, 2021 – The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has rubbished the government statement that the arms embargo could lead to delayed implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.
The United Nations Security Council has extended an arms embargo on South Sudan last week saying the government has made no efforts in controlling firearms in the hands of civilians.
In response, the government said the move would jeopardize and slow down the implementation process of the peace agreement as weapons to graduate and redeploy the necessary trained unified forces are also lacking.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a statement Monday saying the renewal of the arms embargo has left South Sudan vulnerable to “external and internal threats”.
However, the SPLM-IO, one of the major signatories to the agreement said the government should not use the imposition of the arms embargo as an excuse to delay the implementation of the agreement signed in 2018.
In a statement extended to Nyamiledpedia, SPLM-IO Director for Information and Public Relations, Puok Both Baluang, said the decision to renew the arms embargo and assets freeze on South Sudan and eight targeted individuals was unsurprising.
“The decision was anticipated given the slow implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” Mr. Baluang said.
The Director of Information pointed that South Sudan did not meet the roadmap drawn by the United Nations for the removal of sanctions and arms embargo.
“The UN Secretary-General Report No. 321 on 31st March 2021 had outlined the roadmap for lifting the arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan, which the government has not yet met,” Baluang said.
While he acknowledged that the arms embargo will have some impact on the peace implementation process, Baluang said the decision cannot be fully blamed for any underachievement from the signatories.
“Although the renewal of the arms embargo on South Sudan might have some impact on the implementation of the agreement, it should not be used as an excuse for none implementation of the agreement,” he said.
Baluang urged all parties to the agreement to recommit to its implementation with a new approach and vigor.