SPLM-IO says renewal of arms embargo ‘should not’ be an excuse to deviate from peace implementation
SPLM-IO Director of Information and Public Relations Puok Both Baluang says while the renewal may impact implementation of some provisions of the agreement, “it should not be used as excuse for none implementation of the agreement.”
South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, has said this morning that the decision by the United Nations Security Council to renew arms embargo and sanctions imposed on the world’s youngest country through the course of the conflict should not be used as an excuse for deviation from the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
This comes less than a week after the United Nations Security Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of renewing the arms embargo and sanctions imposed on South Sudan by the powerful world body.
“The Security Council, acting through its written silence procedure today, renewed the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures, while expressing its readiness to adjust them in light of conditions on the ground,” the Council said in a statement Friday.
South Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs reacted and said in a statement Sunday that the renewal of sanctions “undermine the sovereignty of the nation and jeopardize the progress of the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”
It added that due to the extension of the arms embargo “graduation of the National Unified Forces (NUF) will greatly be affected, and will eventually weaken South Sudan to ascertain herself socially, economically, politically and in any unprecedented aggression internally or externally.”
However, in a statement this afternoon, the main armed opposition SPLM-led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny said the decision was not surprising given the slow pace of the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.
“The United Nation Security Council (UNSC) on Friday 28th May 2021 has adopted Resolution No. 2577 to renew the Arms Embargo and sanctions imposed on South Sudan for one year until 31st May 2022,” the statement signed by the SPLM-IO Director of Information and Public Relations Puok Both Baluang reads in part.
“This decision was anticipated given the slow implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R- ARCSS). The UN Secretary General Report No. 321 on 31st March 2021 had outlined a roadmap for lifting the arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan, which the government has not yet met,” the statement added.
The statement further said although some unidentified aspects of the peace implementation might be affected, it should not be used by any of the parties as a mean of deviation from the full implementation of the revitalized agreement.
“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 excuse for none implementation of the agreement,” the statement said.
“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) therefore, urges the parties to the agreement to seize this matter to commit themselves and double their efforts for ensuring full implementation of the R-ARCSS,” it added.
The statement further reiterated SPLM-IO’s “full adherence to the implementation of R-ARCSS in letter and spirit, as the sole way to attain peace in South Sudan.”