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South Sudan criticizes US proposal to impose sanctions

JUBA, South Sudan—The South Sudanese government on Friday rejected United States’ call for an arms embargo and sanctions on the war-torn country.

The U.S. government’s call is undermining the peace process, a South Sudan foreign affairs spokesman Ambassador Mawien Makol Ariik told Anadolu Agency.

He branded the U.S. move as a “double standard”, which if approved by the UN would restrict the flow of weapons to the Juba-based regime. “We see no sense for an arms embargo and sanctions since we are committed to the peace process; it is [the rebel leader] Riek Machar still calling for war and someone should question the stand of American government here,” Ariik said.

On Thursday, the U.S. had lobbied the UN Security Council to impose an embargo and targeted sanctions on South Sudan, rebuffing Russian objections, in a bid to halt the three-year long civil war in the world’s youngest nation.

American Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power, had told the Council: “In the coming days, the United States will put forward a proposal to impose an arm embargo on South Sudan and targeted sanctions on the individuals who have been the biggest spoilers to achieve lasting peace,”

The move came after the UN special adviser sounded an alarm of a looming genocide in South Sudan.

Criticizing America’s decision to impose an arm embargo, Russia on Thursday insisted that an arms embargo would not help and described any sanctions as “the height of irresponsibility.”

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev said any new punitive measures would make it even harder for United Nations peacekeepers to operate. China expressed reservations and suggested prudent approach on sanctions.

South Sudan descended into chaos two years after gaining independence from Sudan. The conflict in the country, which began as a political wrangle within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar, has so far claimed tens of thousands of lives, displacement of 2.4 million others and torn the young nation along ethnic lines.

Source : Anadolu + Alleastafrica

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