JUBA – South Sudan’s minister of cabinet affairs and close ally of President Salva Kiir Mayardit Martin Elia Lomuro has urged SPLM-IO deputy chairman and first deputy speaker of the transitional parliament Nathaniel Oyet to apologize for ‘supporting’ arms embargo against the country.
This comes after senior government officials clashed at the 6th Governors Forum, largely along party lines, over sanctions and arms embargo imposed by the United Nations against the world’s youngest country in 2018.
The information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth had yesterday called on the international community to lift the sanctions and the arms embargo because the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) were being graduated without arms.
“One of the major problems that is actually facing the security arrangements, we have graduated phase one, but without arms,” Makuei said.
“You have seen we graduated them with sticks, how will we deploy them with sticks and the international community is telling us to deploy them, should we deploy them with sticks?
“So, my request and my appeal to the UN Security Council is to lift the arms embargo,” added the senior government official.
But Oyet blamed the continuation of arms embargo on the parties’ slowness in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement saying that the disciplinary international measure could have been removed had the parties been successful in the restoration of peace in the country.
“The arms embargo came under the backdrop of the conflict, the conflict which started in 2013 was raging and this is what attracted the arms embargo,” he said.
“I’m sure by now this embargo could have been lifted if we were diligent and faithful to our signatures. If we had implemented the peace agreement as required. I still want to reiterate that graduation with sticks should continue,” he added.
In reaction, Lomuro claimed that the arms embargo is a violation of South Sudan’s sovereignty and the UN charter and asked the deputy SPLM-IO chairman to apologize publicly to the people of South Sudan for the alleged support of the arms embargo.
“Arms embargo is a violation of the sovereign right of the Republic of South Sudan to protect itself, and for you as a South Sudanese to support something that violates the right of your citizens to defend itself, it is not correct,” Lumuro said.
“The arms embargo is a clear violation of the United Nations chatters of the Republic of South Sudan as a member to protect itself. If you support our country being violated, you go and sleep tonight and think about it, tomorrow you come and apologize publicly here,”