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Arms embargo delaying graduation of unified force: Kiir

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May 15, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir has said the arms embargo imposed by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on his country has affected the implementation of the security arrangements within the peace agreement, citing delays in the graduation of unified forces.

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The unified force of instructors pose for a group photo in Juba, October 5, 2019 (Xinhua)

Kiir made the remarks during a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov in the capital, Juba Friday.

The Office of the President, in a statement, said Kiir appealed for Russia’s support in addressing challenges hindering the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“The president also appealed to the Russian Federation to help in clarifying this point to other stakeholders within the international community that, with Chapter 1 of the agreement completed, our focus now turns to Chapter 2, which deals with security arrangements and the ability to expedite this process is affected by the arms embargo imposed on us by the United Nations Security Council,” it noted.

Last year, the Security Council adopted a resolution extending for a year an arms embargo on the world’s youngest nation and a travel ban and financial sanctions for targeted individuals.

Kiir said the unified forces being trained at the moment cannot be graduated due to arms embargo.

“This has made it difficult for the government to purchase necessary equipment for the graduation of the unified forces,” he explained.

The revitalized peace agreement calls for the establishment of unified forces made up of 83,000 soldiers to take charge of the country’s security during the three-year transitional period.

Also discussed was the importance of establishing a Truth, Reconciliation and Healing Commission to reconcile the population after a five-year civil war saw more than 400,000 people killed.

Meanwhile the Russian delegation assured the South Sudanese leader of their country’s support in helping South Sudan address obstacles affecting the implementation of the peace agreement.

Russia was one of the country’s that recognized South Sudan’s independence on July 9, 2011.

(ST)

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