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Taban pleads at the White House for U.S. support to Sudan South

South Sudan FVP received at the White House by Cyril E. Sartor of NSC Africa on 5 October 2018 (ST Photo)
October 6, 2018 (WASHINGTON) - South Sudanese President Taban Deng Gai was Friday at the White House to plead for the support of peace and lift of sanctions in his country.

After meetings with several high-level officials in Washington, Taban discussed the issues of peace implementation and US support for his government with Cyril E. Sartor, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC).

The deputy chief of mission at the South Sudanese Embassy in Washington Gordon Buay said the First Vice President reiterated the commitment of his government to fully implement the revitalized peace deal and to work with the peace partners and the regional and international community to end the war and bring stability in the country.

The meeting tackled the implementation of the implementation of the permanent ceasefire and security arrangements which will begin very soon. Taban said President Salva Kiir has given orders and discussed the ceasefire enforcement with the South Sudanese military officials.

During the meeting, Taban also said the lift of the U.S. and UN sanctions on the young country would be of help in the implementation of the peace process. Several senior government officials are under the regime of sanctions.

The meeting was attended by Caroline Sahley, Director for Africa at NCS, South Sudanese Ambassador Philip Natana and the deputy head of mission Ambassador Buay.

Following the signing of the revitalized agreement on 12 September, the Troika countries including the U.S., UK and Norway said concerned by the parties’ level of commitment to the ceasefire and the deal.

Further, they specified that before they support it there must be a significant change including " end to violence and full humanitarian access; the release of political prisoners; and a real commitment to effective and accountable implementation".

On 2 October, Deng who attended the UN General Assembly meetings held a closed-door meeting organised by the Atlantic Center with several current and former U.S. officials dealing with Sudan. Also attended the event some human rights and humanitarian organizations.

Taban told the meeting that the new peace deal has settled “all disputes” among leaders in South Sudan, despite the contention by many experts that the agreement lacks any substantive difference from previous treaties, according to a statement by the Atlantic Council.

He further stressed that "South Sudan’s leadership has learned from its mistakes and that the fighting had ceased. Also, he called for renewed financial support from the United States".

In response to questions about the political prisoners in South Sudan, the Fist Vice President said the arbitrary detentions of opponents was really evidence of the "rule of law" in the country, according to the Atlantic Council.

Reports by the Council and the Foreign Policy said Taban’s remarks on political prisoners fuelled animated discussions about the human rights in South Sudan.