Rooney Calls for UN Arms Embargo on South Sudan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) introduced a resolution calling for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to immediately impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, where government forces continue to wage violent offensives in violation of the unilateral ceasefire declared on May 22. In December 2016, the U.S. failed to secure the support of enough UNSC Members to pass an arms embargo resolution, and in February conditions deteriorated to the point of a famine declaration in parts of the country.
“I traveled to South Sudan in April and witnessed the overwhelming devastation that over three years of civil war has inflicted on the county’s men, women, and children,” Rooney said. “The people of South Sudan still have hope that the United States can use its leverage in the international community to compel the Government to end this brutal civil war. As I see it, if the Government of South Sudan is going to act on the international community’s calls to stop this senseless violence, we must finally put our words into action and gain the support needed to pass an arms embargo at the Security Council. More talk and idle threats will only allow the government to continue its campaign of destruction – and frankly, we’ve exhausted all excuses for inaction.”
In the three and a half years since the onset of South Sudan’s brutal civil war, well over 50,000 people have been killed and nearly 4 million people have been displaced, both internally and as refugees that have fled to neighboring countries. Despite the government of South Sudan’s public commitments to allow humanitarian assistance into the country, life-saving aid is continually blocked from reaching those who need it most. Instead of protecting and providing for its own people, the government has continued to purchase attack helicopters, amphibious vehicles, and other arms, which it systematically and deliberately uses to murder its own citizens. In light of this reality, an international arms embargo is absolutely necessary for the protection of the South Sudan’s citizens.
Rooney serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee as well as the co-chair of the Sudan and South Sudan Caucus.