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South Sudan recalls envoy from US

South Sudan has recalled its ambassador to US as dispute between Juba and Washington escalates over an arms embargo on the world’s youngest state.

President Salva Kiir’s Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny told the Africareview on phone that Juba had recalled Mr Garang Diing Akuong for consultations, especially in response to Washington’s arms restrictions to South Sudan.

The South Sudan Foreign ministry also confirmed the matter, saying the young nation was looking for ways to overcome the situation and avoid actions which could spoil the Washington-Juba relations.

Continuing violence

South Sudan and the US have been embroil in a diplomatic row this year after Washington pressured the UN Security Council to impose an all-out sanctions against Juba over its failure to end the war and the suffering of the people.

The US on Friday announced the ban of arms sale to South Sudan, saying the continuing violence, which has created one of Africa’s worst humanitarian crises, showed no signs of ending.

It also says both the government and rebels were heavily spending on military than on peace and development.

“The government and armed opposition, despite signing the December 21 Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities and ongoing efforts by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) to advance peace and despite the suffering of their own people, have continued the use of military force to seek political advantage,” the US Department of State said in a statement posted on its official website.

A strong signal

The US also highlighted the massive displacement of civilians and the killing of aid workers as well as gross human rights violations, in addition to lack of political will from the parities to the conflict as key motives behind the imposition of the arms embargo.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) welcomed the US arms ban, saying it would send a strong signal to the South Sudan leaders that abuses and broken promises would not be tolerated.

The watchdog also said it was time the UN Security Council followed the US example to impose all-out sanctions on South Sudan unless peace was achieved.

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