JUBA – A United States envoy in South Sudan is saying that the county has more weapons to arm the necessary unified forces provided for in the revitalized agreement signed to supposedly end the conflict in 2018.
Ambassador Larry André, Jr., the U.S Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires in Juba was responding to claims by the government of that the country need to have United Nations arms embargo lifted to be able to arm peace forces.
“There is a surplus of weapons in South Sudan, so the idea that the UN Security Council must lift an arms embargo for the peace agreement to be fully implemented because it has limited weapons in the country is not true,” Amb. Andre said during a press conference in Juba on Thursday.
The U.S diplomat revealed that the country has persistent food shortage but there is no weapon shortage.
“I first came to your country in 2011 shortly after independence, I have had the privilege to travel throughout your country and have seen despite a very rich soil and abundant rainfall and the country has persistent food shortage but there is no weapon shortage,” he said.
He said the UN Security Council is discussing what the benchmark on South Sudan will be.
“At some point lifting arm embargo won’t make sense but the UN Security Council will discuss what the benchmarks are and it will be communicated to the government,” he revealed.
“We want South Sudan to achieve a normal, peaceful and stable situation and part of that is the implementation of a security arrangement which is called for in the peace agreement,” he added.
The Council first imposed an arms embargo in 2018 and subsequently renewed it in 2019 to prevent a continuation of the country’s civil war.
The arms embargo empowers all UN-member States to prevent arms and related equipment of all types including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and any spare parts – from entering South Sudan.