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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
South Sudan denies allegations over breach of EU arms embargo

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has denied allegations that its southern neighbor Uganda helped Juba to acquire European weapons despite an arms ban by the European Union (EU).

London-based campaign group, Conflict Armament Research (CAR), said in a new report that Uganda, a major ally of South Sudan bought weapons on behalf of the conflict-torn country to escape EU arms embargo.

The report alleges that the Ugandan government bought arms and ammunition from three EU countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia) that were diverted to South Sudan’s military between 2014 and 2015.

But Michael Makuei, South Sudan’s government spokesman, dismissed the report as “fake,” adding that the government is currently focused on funding the recently signed peace deal but not war.

“We are not receiving arms from anybody because we are already in peace. Whatever money we have, we will use it for peace, not for buying arms,” Makuei told Xinhua by phone in Juba.

Makuei alleged that the report was written by anti-peace elements seeking to destroy the latest peace deal.

“It is continuation of that process of objection to the peace process. People are trying by any means to ensure that the agreement is washed down, but those people will not make it,” he added.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital, Juba in July 2016.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, his former deputy and arch rival Riek Machar and several opposition groups in September signed a revitalized power-sharing deal aimed at ending the five-year old conflict. 

           

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