South Sudan: Government launches disarmament programmes after hundreds killed in armed violence

The Government of South Sudan has announced the start of disarmament campaigns in volatile states following recent clashes between armed groups where hundreds of people are thought to have been killed. South Sudan President Salva Kiir has offered an amnesty to rebel groups, but warned that if weapons are not handed in peacefully, the army will take them by force. In a briefing prepared for the UK Parliament, Saferworld said “civilian possession of SALW remains a significant obstacle to promoting security for communities in South Sudan. But, if poorly managed, efforts to disarm populations can potentially act as a catalyst for violence between communities or result in clashes between the military and the communities that are to be disarmed”. Their briefing includes recommendations on best practice for disarmament campaigns, which include ensuring that security forces have sufficient capacity and are well trained; and maintaining proper records and secure storage of guns that are recovered.