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U.S. set to impose more sanctions on South Sudan: diplomat

December 19, 2019 (JUBA) – The United State government is set to impose additional sanctions on individuals obstructing South Sudan’s ongoing implementation of the peace agreement, its envoy said.

U.S ambassador to South Sudan Thomas J. Hushek speaking to Radio Miraya, Nov. 19, 2019 (embassy photo)

Thomas Hushek, the US ambassador to Juba said, sanctions are tools used by any government and the US will not hesitate to apply them.

“I don’t see us removing the sanctions we have done, and we will continue to use sanctions as one of the tools,” the diplomat told reporters in Juba on Wednesday.

In November, Washington recalled its ambassador to South Sudan after the country’s rival leaders failed to form a unity government.

The US expressed its frustration at South Sudan’s failure to form a national unity government on November 12, questioning the suitability to President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar to lead the country.

Hushek urged South Sudan’s leaders to form an inclusive unity government.

“You know if the future of the unity government comes in and it’s a more inclusive government. We hope it is a government that has more technical capacity and more political will to actually start tackling these many reforms that are built in the peace agreement, that process starts moving forward,” he stressed.

The US on Monday placed sanctions on South Sudan’s Cabinet Affairs ministers, Martin Elia Lomuro and his Defense counterpart, Kuol Manyang Juuk for obstructing the country’s ongoing peace process.

According to the US government, Lomuro has been responsible for actively recruiting and organizing local militias to conduct attacks against opposition forces in South Sudan. On the other hand, Juuk is said to have failed to remove military forces from the battlefield as agreed, fomented violence with rival tribes, and oversaw the training of tribal militias to prepare for the possibility of renewed violence.

The State Department further warned that "other measures" would be imposed against any who seek to expand the conflict and derail peace efforts in South Sudan.

The latest sanctions come barely a week after the U.S. vowed to implement visa restrictions against individuals who undermine the peace process in South Sudan.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter denied.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

(ST)