USA restricts arms transfers to bloodied South Sudan

USA restricts arms transfers to bloodied South Sudan

USA restricts arms transfers to bloodied South Sudan

The United States has banned the export of weapons to South Sudan and has urged other nations and the UN to adopt a global arms embargo.

The State Department said Friday the U.S.is restricting all sales of defense equipment and services to all parties to South Sudan's conflict, saying it is "appalled" by the continuing violence.

While the United States does not conduct arms sales with South Sudan, the move prevents any U.S. company or citizen from providing military equipment or defense services to the country's warring factions.

In a press statement here on Friday, Ms Heather Nauert, Department Spokesperson, said the USA was implementing restrictions on the export of defence articles and defence services into South Sudan.

Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement on 21 December 2017 by South Sudan's warring parties, there has been no let-up in fighting which is likely to escalate during the current dry season - unless coordinated and sustained worldwide action is taken.

Oil-rich South Sudan has been wrecked by civil war since 2013, when troops loyal to Kiir clashed with troops loyal to then-Vice President Riek Machar.

Kakuma refugee camp hosts around 186,600 refugees and asylum-seekers, the majority of whom, around 106,000, are from South Sudan.

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"It is something we can do to actually help the people of South Sudan - to slow the violence, slow the flow of arms and ammunition, and protect innocent lives", she told the council last Wednesday.

"We encourage IGAD and the African Union to consider sanctions measures against those who undermine the peace process", Nauert said in the statement.

The move was backed by seven of the 15 Security Council members, including Britain and France, but received eight abstentions, including one from Russian Federation, whose top United Nations ambassador argued an embargo would not stabilize the country. This week the African Union joined the calls for further sanctions on those blocking the path to peace. The council sanctioned several senior South Sudanese officials on both sides of the conflict in 2015.

South Sudan's leaders aren't just failing their people, "they are betraying them", Ms Haley said. "We can not stand by idly as innocent civilians are murdered and raped".

"Approximately 2.4-million South Sudanese have fled as refugees to neighboring countries and 1.9-million South Sudanese are internally displaced", she said.

The United States is South Sudan's biggest aid provider, and was a major backer of its 2011 independence from Sudan.

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