September 11, 2017 (JUBA) – The United States government is considering the imposition of further targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on South Sudan if its warring factions do not agree on how to resolve the ongoing war, 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, however, rejected by Russia, which reportedly argued that such a move would not be effective since the war-torn East African nation was already in possession of plenty of illegal arms.
On Wednesday last week, the U.S government imposed sanctions on two serving South Sudanese officials and the ex-military chief of staff, accusing them of fueling and profiting from the country’s civil war.
The U.S Treasury Department in said a statement on website that it had blacklisted Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, deputy chief of defense for logistics in the SPLA; Paul Malong, former army chief who was dismissed in May; and Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth.
The measures freeze any assets in the U.S or tied to the U.S financial system belonging to the three men. The U.S Treasury said Riak was central to weapons procurement during the first few years of the conflict and helped plan an offensive in Unity State in April 2015.
It also accused him of issuing military contracts at inflated prices “in order to receive extensive kickbacks. The U.S. Treasury blacklisted All Energy Investments, A+ Engineering, Electronics & Media Printing and Mak International Services which it said was owned or controlled by Malek. The Treasury said former chief of staff Malong “did not discourage” the killing of civilians around the town of Wau last year.
The U.S Treasury also accused the South Sudanese information minister of attacks against the U.N mission in South Sudan and obstructing peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in the country.
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.
However, 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.
The armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) leader, also the country’s former First Vice President, Riek Machar was also on the proposed list.
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.