South Sudan says Sanctions Would Derail Peace Implementation

South Sudan Sanctions
“We believe targeted measures are appropriate at this time …” – U.S. Ambassador to UN

By Sudan Tribune,

South Sudanese government has expressed disappointment to the threat of targeted sanctions and arms embargo proposed by the United States at the United Nations Security Council.

In a letter seen by Sudan Tribune the government states that the proposals seriously undermine the sovereignty and internal processes to consolidate peace in the war ravaged nation.

“The government of South Sudan holds the view that the threat of sanctions against government officials are aimed at derailing the entire peace process, perpetuating a state of crisis in South Sudan and to justify International action in the country, so the government rejects the U.S. proposal entirely,” reads the letter addressed to the United Nations Security Council on 6 December.

The Minister in the Office of the President, Mayiik Ayii Deng, who signed the letter, highlighted progress made in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015. Also, he pointed that to the measures being undertaken by the government in order to rebuild a consensus on the peace agreement through national dialogue.

“The threat of sanctions against prominent government officials has been seen as an act of bad faith intended to weaken the government by creating divisions and raises the suspicion for a regime change agenda”, he stressed.

Last November, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power proposed to impose sanctions on former First Vice President Riek Machar, SPLA Chief of Staff Paul Malong and Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.

The proposed sanctions include also an arms embargo.

But Washington abandoned the idea after opposition by the veto-power Russia and several other members.

The government argued that taking away the coercive power of the state weakens it from being able to maintain law and order and exacerbates uncontrollable anarchy in the country.

The letter further denies claims that South Sudan is on the verge of Genocide and described it as a tool of objective propaganda for those who want to take over South Sudan as a colony.

It objects to the arms embargo and argued that attempts to deny the government access to weapons could presumably be used to carry out genocide as devoid of merit, saying genocide could be committed with crude inexpensive weapons.

The letter highlights improvement in foreign relations between South Sudan and its neighbours in the interest of peace internally and across the region.

The government implores the members of the Security Council to reject any such proposals, saying it needs now political, financial and moral support to consolidate peace, promote reconciliation and to end violence in the country.

“The Government of the Republic of South Sudan needs the Security Council as a partner for peace, not as a party to the conflict and such proposals that punish peacemakers go contrary to the partnership and controvert efforts to ensure international peace”, the letter concludes.