Government deny violating arms embargo

Government deny violating arms embargo
The new purchased military vehicles assembled at Buluk Police headquarters in Juba. [Photo by the South Sudan Nation Police Service]

South Sudan has refuted a UN Security Council’s report that it breached arms embargo conditions by illegally procuring vehicles for security officers.

Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, while responding to the allegation, termed the report as a “fabricated story”.

He denied reports linking the government with procurement of the said vehicles nor arms as stated in the UN report.

“We have not acquired any arms and we have not acquired any armed vehicles. These are reports which are concocted by people who want to ensure that South Sudan continues in crisis. Why is it that reports are written and we are not allowed to respond? Why take decisions on the one-sided report?

“These people are not out here for peace. They want to make sure that South Sudan continues suffering. Otherwise, I cannot just pass judgment on a one-sided report. The report was not given to us to respond after which they would have passed a decision” he added.

The 77-page report that was released early this week.

It said that the government had purchased Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for the National Police Service and the army this year.

On March 22, 2022, South Sudan National Police Service received 150 new automobiles. The vehicles were seen on streets of Juba, driven by the on their way to the police headquarters in Buluk.

According to the National Police Service’s spokesperson, Daniel Justin, the vehicles were purchased to facilitate the movement of officers in countering illicit practices such as inter-communal conflicts from others across the country.

According to the UNSC report, similar vehicles were discovered in the possession of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces Tiger Battalion in Juba, from where they were alleged to be deployed in Warrap State in February 2022.

In late December 2021, the Panel discovered a limited number of comparable vehicles under the control of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces in Lakes State. The Committee was not asked for an exemption for the acquisition of these armoured military vehicles, according to the report.

“From its interviews, the Panel discovered that procurement of the vehicles had started in 2021, with staggered deliveries in 2021 and early 2022.”

“The armoured personnel carriers appear to match the “Tygra” model. 67 The Panel was not able to determine the supplier of the vehicles, although statements from a South Sudanese official indicated that they had been sourced from an unnamed “private company”

“The Panel considers the import of these vehicles to constitute a violation of the arms embargo imposed on the entire territory of South Sudan by Security Council resolution 2428 (2018), renewed most recently by resolution 2577 (2021). The Panel notes that exemption procedures for the import of military equipment are included under paragraph 5 of resolution 2428 (2018)” The UNSC report alleged.