World UN chief seeks progress in South Sudan to evaluate arms embargo
Sudan, South Sudan must settle dispute over oil-rich region: UN
Sudan and South Sudan must reach an agreement on the disputed, oil-rich border region of Abyei in order for the UN mission there to conclude, according to Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Abyei has been contested since South Sudan gained independence in 2011 and the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) was deployed after deadly clashes that year displaced some 100,000 people. Charged with coming up with options for ending the peacekeepers' presence, Guterres said in a recent report to the Security Council it is up to the two countries to decide on the status of the region.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for South Sudan to make progress on governance, disarmament and human rights as the world body evaluates whether to extend a three-year-old arms embargo.
In a report recently submitted to the Security Council, Guterres proposed "three key benchmarks" out of 34 specific targets to assess the embargo, which is up for renewal at the end of May.
"These benchmarks may contribute to the implementation of the agreement (between South Sudan rivals), the cessation of hostilities and the permanent ceasefire," Guterres said.
As World Wages War on COVID-19, U.N. Troops Fight on the Front Lines
"We equipped ourselves to react to the system, we organized ourselves to react," U.N. Under Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix told Newsweek. He warns, however, "we're absolutely not out of the woods."Tasked with defusing tensions in some of the world's most precarious regions across the globe, U.N. peacekeepers were forced a year ago to recalibrate their duties to include protecting both themselves and local populations from an ominous invisible specter, while simultaneously fulfilling their original missions to prevent the outbreak of potentially devastating conflicts.
The criteria he listed were progress "on political and governance issues," on "disarmament, demobilization and reintegration" of fighters and on "the humanitarian and human rights situation."
Impoverished South Sudan has been devastated by violence since its independence in 2011 with more than 380,000 people killed.
The crisis eased in February 2020 when President Salva Kiir reached a power-sharing deal with his rival Riek Machar but observers have warned of a return to war as there has been limited movement on other aspects of the truce.
A report by UN experts in December called for an extension of the embargo and reported several violations, notably by Ugandan troops.
Amnesty International also backed the preservation of the embargo, saying there was a surge in violence against civilians last year.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said this week it nonetheless planned a small reduction in troops as violence has abated.
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Read CNN's Fast Facts about the life of Jacob Zuma and learn more about the former president of South Africa. PersonalBirth date: April 12, 1942Birth place: Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa Birth name: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa ZumaFather: Gcinamazwi Zuma, police officerMother: Nobhekisisa Bessie, domestic worker Marriages: Bongi Ngema (2012-present); Thobeka Stacy Mabhija (2010-present); Nompumelelo Ntuli (2008-present); Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini (1982-1998, divorced); Kate Mantsho Zuma (1976-2000, her death); Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo Zuma (1973-present)Children: Reportedly has more than 20 childre