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Oxfam Global Ambassador Djimon Hounsou Calls for Peace in South Sudan

By Oxfam
In early March, Oxfam ambassador Djimon Hounsou visited a cattle camp in South Sudan, where many communities are suffering from the consequences of the unregulated flow of arms and ammunition. Photo: Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin

The actor penned a TIME op-ed to ask for an arms embargo on the country.

Actor and Oxfam Global Ambassador Djimon Hounsou visited South Sudan less than two years after the world’s newest nation gained its independence. During his time there he met people who were hopeful about their new country’s future after decades of conflict and instability. However, he also encountered youth carrying AK-47s, unsure of when new fighting would begin.

Just months later, South Sudan slid back into conflict. Despite a peace agreement, renewed violence broke out in the capital Juba in early July, killing scores of people and forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. The total of displaced people is now over 2.5 million.

In his op-ed in TIME, Hounsou asks for an arms embargo and assistance from the UN Security Council to ensure peace. He said, “[An arms embargo] will send a strong message that the international community will not enable those fighters who have shown a complete disregard for the laws of war easy access to weapons and ammunition with which they can rearm and commit or facilitate further abuses.”

As long as the fighting continues, the humanitarian situation in South Sudan will only get worse. Tell President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and National Security Advisor Rice: Push for a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan.

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