A US arms embargo will be imposed on South Sudan whose civil war turmoil is only exacerbating with time, Reuters reports. The territory is stricken with an internal opposition that hasn’t been so heavily and overtly exercised since Rwanda in the 1990s. In a like manner, the East African country is projected to have the largest refugee crisis since the genocide in 1994 at three million refugees by the end of this year. Long overdue, the Trump administration is asking that all members of the UN take the same action.
Thus far, the US has held back assistance due to the nature of the affair’s relationship to the US directly. Not having defense trade with South Sudan, the issue has been deemed mostly symbolic but tumultuous, nonetheless. The civil war was incited by friction between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and then Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer. Machar, now in exile continues to control an army, however. Once started, supporters sought arms to eliminate their opponents using child soldiers and rape to continue the perpetuation of disaster.
Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the US would be giving up on South Sudan after an $11 billion dollar investment in the failing country changed nothing with the leadership of Salva Kiir.
Before the ending of the Obama administration in December 2016, there was an attempt to have the UN join forces and impose an arms embargo on South Sudan but it was unsuccessful, Reuters reports. Russia thought that the situation would only worsen if there was any foreign intervention and China encouraged “positive messages.”
Apparently, arms have continually been shipped into South Sudan, coming from countries in Eastern Europe.
The country has been plagued by war since 2013 and several cease-fires have been violated on both sides, the latest having gone into effect Dec. 24 only to be violated hours later. It’s turned the country upside down, leaving over a million in famine, and tens of thousands dead with no record.
The US is trying to figure the arms situation as it’s difficult to tell the direct source. But it would be the first step to cut off circulation because as long as guns are coming in, the war will go on.