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UN panel recommends arms embargo on South Sudan

South Sudan

The U.N. Sanctions Committee has recommended the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.

In a report due to be released, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar should be blacklisted and an arms embargo placed on the young nation.

The United Nations panel of experts tasked to investigate the country’s civil war and report its findings stated in the confidential report that the opposing leaders are still in complete control of their armed forces and therefore linked to the loss of lives of civilians and other actions that warrant sanctions.

“There is clear and convincing evidence that most of the acts of violence committed during the war, including the targeting of civilians…have been directed by or undertaken with the knowledge of senior individuals at the highest levels of the government and within the opposition,” stated the report.

The experts also say that the government is to blame for the vast majority of human rights violation committed in the country since March 2015.

The UN details how Kiir’s government purchased 4 MI-24 helicopters from a private Ukranian company that facilitated the expansion of the war and emboldened those in government seeking a military solution to the conflict at the expense of peace building. It cost nearly $43 million.

The civil war in the country that has widened and reopened ethnic fault lines between Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer people, was sparked by a political dispute between the two which led to the deaths of more than 10,000 people.

2.3 million people have also been displaced since war broke out in December 2013 while some 3.2 million face severe food shortages.

The report also asserts that UN peacekeepers are regularly attacked, harassed, detained, intimidated and threatened.

If the report is approved by the 15-member UN Security Council, the two leaders will be subjected to a travel ban and their assets will also be frozen.

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