ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 5 — A coalition of three western nations
(Troika) called on Monday for South Sudan’s neighbors to impose arms
embargo to put pressure on warring sides to cease fighting.
Troika, which comprises Norway, United States and UK, said cutting arms
flow to South Sudan would help end the suffering of South Sudanese people.
Speaking at a press conference in Ethiopia, Paul Sutphin, US State
Department senior adviser on Sudan and South Sudan, said coordinated
incremental pressure is needed to bring warring sides to the negotiating
table in South Sudan. “Its critical to take arms from those who see
political benefit through guns, we believe if we continue to put pressure
results will be achieved to end the civil war,” he said. “We urge all
nations including South Sudan neighbors to cut all arms flow to South Sudan
and end support to those who undermine peace including people who engage in
illicit financial activity and to stay united in fully backing IGAD’s
efforts to end the suffering of South Sudanese people,” he said.
Sutphin’s comments came days after the US imposed arms embargo on South
Sudan and the European Union imposed travel ban and asset freezes on three
current and former South Sudanese officials. Speaking exclusively to
Xinhua, South Sudan ambassador to Ethiopia, James Morgan dismissed the US
decision to impose arms embargo on his nation. “We’re a sovereign state
that have the right to buy guns to ensure territorial integrity, impose law
and order in our state and protect the rights of our citizens,” he said.
Morgan also said South Sudan currently doesn’t import arms from the US and
as such won’t feel the effects of an arms embargo he said US has imposed
out of its “own self-interest and ego”.
South Sudan has been embroiled in more than four years of conflict that has
taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of the most severe
refugee crises in the world. The world’s newest nation descended into
violence after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his
former deputy turned rebel chief Riek Machar led to split in the army,
leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines. A 2015 peace agreement
aimed at ending the conflict was weakened after the outbreak of renewed
fighting in July 2016 forced the opposition rebel leader Riek Machar to
flee South Sudan. – XINHUA