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The Human Consequences of the arms trade

“The Arms Trade Treaty matters to me because the people of South Sudan still have deep scars and traumas to heal after decades of armed conflict. We have a new 2,000-km border in the north that is straddled by ethnic groups and nomadic herders, many of them still highly militarized. There are provocations made across that border, including evidence of support for armed groups in South Sudan.

Early in 2012, 6,000 young fighters from one ethnic group attacked another ethnic group in a dispute over cattle stealing. They killed about 600 people. The attackers were from an ethnic group that just went through a disarmament process two years ago. Now they have brand-new guns. Where does one get new guns for 6,000 young men?

Churches have made numerous interventions in such disputes but, if illegal weapons are fed into the situation, things can easily get out of hand. By building consistent trade policies around the world, a strong and effective ATT would make it much more difficult for young people to obtain illegal weapons. An ATT would help save lives.”

Honourable Joy Kwaje is a Member of Parliament, long-time leader of church women and former Commissioner for Human Rights in Juba, South Sudan

More ways to take action

Help keep families at risk from landslides safe by providing training in disaster risk reduction in schools. Training helps children to identify risks and warning signs of landslides, and teaches them how to keep safe if one happens.

Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (19-26 June 2016). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.

Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.