U.S. imposes sanctions on South Sudan officials for perpetuating conflict

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on two senior South Sudanese officials it accused of fomenting conflict, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday in its latest move to pressure the country's politicians to form a unity government. Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro and Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk were blacklisted for their role in perpetuating the conflict by obstructing the peace process, Treasury said in a statement

Reuters December 17, 2019 00:13:38 IST
U.S. imposes sanctions on South Sudan officials for perpetuating conflict

US imposes sanctions on South Sudan officials for perpetuating conflict

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on two senior South Sudanese officials it accused of fomenting conflict, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday in its latest move to pressure the country's politicians to form a unity government.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro and Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk were blacklisted for their role in perpetuating the conflict by obstructing the peace process, Treasury said in a statement.

The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets held by the officials and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

Civil war broke out in oil-producing South Sudan in 2013, less than two years after the country gained independence from Sudan following decades of war. The conflict has killed an estimated 400,000 people, triggered a famine and created Africa's biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The latest sanctions come as Washington is reevaluating its relationship with the African nation after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed in November to give themselves more time to form a unity government.

"We are designating two cabinet-ranking officials in the South Sudanese government for their role in inhibiting political unification, expanding the conflict, and profiting from South Sudan's war economy," Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich said in prepared remarks for a speech to non-government organizations (NGOs) and financial institutions on Monday.

Muzinich announced the action at the Partnership to Combat Human Rights Abuse and Corruption, where he said NGOs had provided documented findings that helped support Monday's designations.

Treasury accused Lomuro of recruiting and organizing local militias to attack the opposition forces in South Sudan, and Juuk of failing to remove forces from the battlefield as agreed, stirring up violence with rival tribes and preparing militias for the possibility of renewed violence.

After the devastating five-year civil war, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal in September 2018 to form the unity government by Nov. 12, under pressure from the United Nations, the United States and regional governments.

Days before the deadline, the two leaders agreed to give themselves an extension of 100 days.

Over 30 days into the extension, the United States has yet to see the government take necessary steps to "create the political and security conditions conducive to formation of a unity government and adequate implementation of the peace deal," Treasury said in the statement.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Matt Spetalnick and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.