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U.S. propose more UN sanctions, arms embargo on S. Sudan

September 11, 2017 (JUBA) - The United States proposed to impose an international arms embargo on South Sudan if there is no positive development in the implementation of the peace agreement, diplomatic sources told Sudan Tribune..

Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally in in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., July 29, 2016. (Reuters Photo)

The proposal was made during a joint meeting for the UN Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council held in Addis Ababa on 8 September 2017.

The meeting, which discussed different conflicts including Somalia, South Sudan, and central Africa countries, was briefed by UN special envoy to the AU, Haile Menkerios, about the poor implementation of the peace agreement and underlined that the 2018 elections can only be held if the security situation is stable.

Menkerios who was the former UN envoy for Sudan and South Sudan also said the dialogue process launched by President Salva Kiir is not a substitute to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCRSS) of August 2015.

For his part, the U.S. diplomat who represented his country at the meeting said the ARCRSS should be fully implemented before to hold general elections in South Sudan.

In addition, he proposed that if things did not change, further targeted sanctions and an arms embargo may be needed in order to get the parties to change their behaviour.

However, the Russian delegate objected the proposal saying such punitive measures are ineffective pointing that there are plenty of illegal weapons in the new country.

For their part, the members of the African Union Peace and Security members pointed to the need to hold the revitalization process decided by the IGAD countries last June.

In November 2016, the U.S demanded the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Malong and Minister Lueth for hampering the peace process in the world’s youngest nation. But the draft resolution was vetoed by the Russian and Chinese envoys at the Security Council

The armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) leader, also the country’s former First Vice President, Riek Machar was also on the rejected list.

Last week, the U.S Treasury Department decided to blacklist Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, the deputy chief of defence for logistics in the SPLA and three companies reportedly he established abroad. Further, the sanctions include Paul Malong, the former army chief who was dismissed in May; and Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth.

In July 2015, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on six South Sudanese generals accused of fuelling conflict in the world’s youngest nation. The generals, three from each side of the conflict, were meant to face global travel bans and asset freezes.

South Sudan’s civil war has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than two million people since it broke out in mid-December 2013.