BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the United Nations Security Council’s approval of a stabilization force for the UN peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
“I welcome the authorization of a regional security force to stabilize the capital, Juba,” said Senator Cardin. “This regional force, as part of UNMISS, must prioritize the protection of civilians. I urge swift deployment of the stabilization force and full compliance of parties to the conflict. The imposition of an arms embargo would do much to stop the flow of weapons—particularly heavy weaponry—and mitigate the risk of further civilian casualties.”
Recent violence in Juba, killed hundreds, including two peacekeepers and dozens of civilians. Thousands were displaced, UNMISS and humanitarian facilities were attacked and looted, and more than 200 women and girls were brutally raped.
“These brazen attacks against the South Sudanese people, the humanitarian community, and the United Nations mission must end, and perpetrators held accountable in a credible and transparent legal proceeding,” Senator Cardin added.
The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is dire. More than 900,000 civilians have fled the country, more than 1.6 million are internally displaced, and more than 4.8 million South Sudanese face life-threatening food insecurity.