World, Africa

South Sudan regrets new US sanctions on top officials

US imposed sanctions on 3 South Sudanese officials, accusing them of fueling conflict in world’s youngest nation

Ekip  | 07.09.2017 - Update : 07.09.2017
South Sudan regrets new US sanctions on top officials FILE PHOTO

By Parach Mach

JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudan Thursday regretted the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose sanctions on three of its senior officials and called it “very unfortunate”.

“We express deep regret over imposition sanctions. The sanctions are very unfortunate at the time of peace implementation,” Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesman Mawien Makol Ariik told Anadolu Agency in capital Juba.

On Wednesday, U.S. placed sanctions on three senior South Sudanese officials, accusing them of frustrating peace efforts and fueling conflict and atrocities in the world’s youngest nation.

The officials included Gen. Paul Malong Awan, who was chief of staff of the military until President Salva Kiir fired him in May, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth and the army’s deputy chief of staff Gen. Malek Reuben Riak.

Criticizing the decision, the information minister, who is on the sanction list, described the measures as “misplaced approach.”

Lueth said government is committed to implementing the peace agreement signed with the armed opposition in August 2015 and any new punitive measures would make it even harder for peace implementation.

South Sudan’s civil war has killed tens of thousands and displaced about 3 million civilians in less than four years when political disputes in the country’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) between President Salva Kiir and his dismissed deputy Riek Machar turned violent in December 2013.

Despite an August 2015 peace accord, heavy fighting erupted in Juba in July that year during which peacekeepers failed to protect civilians, according to a UN investigation.

In response, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of an additional 4,000 troops from East Africa with a stronger mandate than the 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission UNMISS already present.

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