UN official accuses Kenya, Uganda of fuelling South Sudan conflict

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A UN official has accused Kenya and Uganda of fuelling South Sudan’s ongoing civil conflict.

Adama Dieng, special advisor to the UN’s secretary-general, told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus program on Monday that Kenya and Uganda are contributing to the bitter civil war in South Sudan as calls for an arms embargo intensify.

Weapons flowing into South Sudan

According to Dieng, large quantities of weapons and ammunition are flowing into South Sudan via Kenya and Uganda. The UN diplomat says it’s time for the international community to take action against South Sudan’s warring sides and external parties contributing to the country’s ongoing conflict.

“Although the responsibility is to protect the population in South Sudan, the timely responsibility lies with the South Sudan government; the responsibility to prevent atrocities is regional and international,” Dieng told VOA.

“International partners have to start targeting the accomplices, intermediaries of the South Sudanese parties.”

Calls for sanctions against South Sudan

Dieng’s comments come as calls for sanctions against South Sudan intensify. Last week, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called South Sudan’s government an “unfit partner”, suggesting the United States would no longer support President Salva Kiir.

She also called for an arms embargo against the country to help prevent the flow of weapons into the country.

Haley’s comments follow a series of failed attempts to implement multiple peace deals in South Sudan. Most recently, a ceasefire was signed in December 2017 but both government and rebel forces have been accused of violating the agreement.

UN official Dieng says South Sudan has had enough opportunities to prove it is taking the peace process seriously and failed to do so repeatedly, leaving the international community with few options left other than sanctions.

“This time we will have to treat the situation in a different manner. In other words, unless the parties commit sincerely to implement the agreement, sanctions should be imposed,” he said.

Featured image: By MONUSCO/Biliaminou Alao – https://www.flickr.com/photos/monusco/35407876386/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61288583

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.