Rights groups call for South Sudan arms embargo

2014-09-04 14:44
 (Samir Bol, AFP)

(Samir Bol, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - South Sudanese rights groups demanded on Thursday an international arms embargo for their conflict-wracked nation, as millions of dollars worth of newly-bought weapons fuel an almost nine-month long civil war.

"As long as these weapons are imported into South Sudan, they are likely to be used to commit further atrocities", the petition reads, signed by over 30 South Sudanese and international organisations.

Groups who signed the petition, which calls for an "immediate, comprehensive arms embargo", include the country's Law Society and Human Rights Society.

International groups include Amnesty International, Global Witness and Human Rights Watch.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.8 million have fled a civil war in the country, sparked by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar.

Aid workers have warned of famine if fighting continues.

"Both sides in this conflict have used small arms and light weapons to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity", the petition reads, sent to east Africa's Igad bloc, asking them to request a UN Security Council ban.

"These include targeting individuals, including women and children, based on their ethnicity, and killing civilians seeking refuge in hospitals and places of worship."

Igad is mediating stalled talks between government and rebels, but is also caught up in the conflict itself, including Uganda, which has sent in troops to support Juba's government.

Guns and ammunition from Sudan, one of Africa's top arms manufacturers, have been used by all sides in the conflict. Shipments of arms have also transited through Kenya.

The fourth Igad-brokered ceasefire agreed last month broke down after a day, when gunmen shot down a UN helicopter, killing three Russian crew members.

"The urgency of the arms embargo is underlined by events of the past month: a UN helicopter has been shot down, killings continue including of humanitarian workers, and attempts to ensure both sides stop killing civilians have failed", the petition added.

Weapons experts have confirmed recent shipments totalling $38m worth of weapons including anti-tank missiles, grenade launchers and assault rifles, supplied by China to the government.

China, a member of the Security Council and a major player in South Sudan's oil fields, is supporting the Igad peace talks in Ethiopia.

Read more on:    un  |  igad  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.