UN Chief calls for arms embargo on South Sudan, cites mass atrocities

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Photo: UN/Getty Images
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Photo: UN/Getty Images

New York/Juba, November 16, 2016 (SSNA) — The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council Wednesday to impose an arms embargo on the war-torn South Sudan.

In his report to the Security Council, Ban warns that ‘there is a very real risk of mass atrocities being committed’ in young nation and urges the UNSC to impose an arms embargo, arguing that South Sudan is flooded with weapons that must be stop for the protection of civilians.

“South Sudan is inundated with weaponry, which is often turned on defenseless civilians. Under the present circumstances, stopping the flow of additional arms into the country is critical for the protection of civilians,” Ban said in the report.

“There is a very real risk of mass atrocities being committed in South Sudan, particularly following the sharp rise in hate speech and ethnic incitement in recent weeks,” Ban warned.

The UN chief told the Council that peacekeepers currently deployed in South Sudan have no capabilities to stop mass atrocities, adding that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has already demonstrated inability to protect civilians.

“…it must be clearly understood that United Nations peacekeeping operations do not have the appropriate manpower or capabilities to stop mass atrocities. The limits on UNMISS’s ability to protect civilians in the current environment have been demonstrated clearly,” the report reads in part.

The report came just over two weeks after a UN body tasked to investigate July attacks on civilian compound and a site which house UN staff concluded that poor leadership at the UNMISS was the problem.

Last week, UN Special Adviser on the prevention of genocide Adama Dieng has warned of looming genocide in South Sudan.

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