South Sudan slams African Union, US sanctions drive

By The Eastafrican

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South Sudan has slammed the African Union and the US for calling for all-out sanctions against Juba.

Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman Mawien Makol said the latest campaign and threats of sanctions against the young nation would derail the peace process.

“When you talk of sanctions, it cannot bring peace to the country.

“What we need as a government is encouragement from the region, the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) and from the members of the international community,” Mr Makol was quoted saying by the Juba Monitor newspaper.

On Sunday, the chairman of the AU Commission, Dr Mousa Faki Mahamat, said time had come to slap sanctions on peace saboteurs in South Sudan.

“The time has come to sanction those who are blocking peace in South Sudan,” Mr Mahamat said in Addis Ababa.

The US has also echoed similar remarks, pressing the UN Security Council to approve sanctions against President Salva Kiir’s government for failing to restore peace and stability.

The US top diplomat to the UN, Ms Nikki Haley, last week said her country had cut backing President Kiir’s leadership and termed him as “unfit partner” to the US.

But Mr Makol said the massive campaign for sanctions risked spoiling the pursuit for lasting peace and could likely fuel the war and the suffering of the people.

“Sanctions will not help bring peace to South Sudan, instead it would spoil the chance for lasting peace,” he said.

The calls for sanctions against South Sudan were prompted by the multiple violations of the recent Cessation of Hostilities truce by both government and rebel forces.