July 23, 2016 (JUBA) - Over 30 civil society organizations from around the world have petitioned the United Nations Security Council to impose arms embargo on South Sudan, charging that the Transitional Government of National Unity, led by President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Machar, is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect populations in South Sudan from mass atrocities.
Following the recent clashes in the South Sudanese capital between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his first deputy Riek Machar, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday 11 July called to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan nation.
If the United States, Britain and France back the move since January, another veto power - Russia - last week said for the first tome it was not opposed to the embargo; opening the door for a possible vote of the embargo.
“As human rights, humanitarian, and peace-building organizations, we call on the UN Security Council to impose an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan. The UN Security Council must act now to protect civilians, the groups said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.
The UN Security Council, according to the call, should impose a comprehensive global arms embargo on the country. The embargo, they add, should include the supply, sale, transfer, maintenance, and operation of all weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, and related services.
Recently, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he was opposed to the arms embargo on South Sudan.
"When you impose an (arms) embargo on South Sudan you destroy the local force on which you need to build a strong integrated army,” said Museveni in a statement issued last week.
However, the advocacy groups argued that such measures will help reduce unlawful attacks on civilians and send a strong message that the international community will not enable those fighters who have shown a complete disregard for the laws of war easy access to weapons and ammunition with which they can rearm and commit or facilitate further abuses.
They further stressed that they encourage the UN Security Council to adhere to the Code of Conduct, endorsed by 112 governments, which calls upon all members of the Council not to vote against a credible draft resolution aimed at preventing or halting mass atrocities.
Below are the signatures of the petition.
1.African Centre for Transitional Justice
2.Agency for Independent Media
4.Assistance Mission for Africa
5.Citizens for Peace and Justice
7.Community Empowerment for Rehabilitation and Development
9.End Impunity Organization
11.Federation of Women Lawyers-South Sudan
12.Foundation for Youth Initiative
13.Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
14.Human Rights Development Organization
15.Human Rights Watch
16.International Youth for Africa
17.Manna Development Agency
18.Organization for Nonviolence and Development
21.Peace and Development Collaborative Organization
22.Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
23.Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative
25.South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms
26.South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy
27.South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization
28.Soweto Community-Based Organization
29.Standard Action Liaison Focus