Sanctions, arms embargo aren’t helping – U.S. regrets

President Salva Kiir and visiting U.S delegation (photo: Presidential Press Unit)

By William Madouk Garang

The United States congress members have lamented that individual sanctions enforced by UN Security Council on South Sudan is affecting the Country’s prosperity and the implementation of the peace agreement.

On Saturday, a visiting U.S delegation comprising of former congressmen and women plus business individuals met with President Kiir and chatted on areas of mutual cooperation and bilateral ties.

In a statement on the official Presidential Facebook page, the head of U.S delegates, Mark Siljander said, they are aware that sanctions negatively impacted the Country, adding they will relay message to Biden’s administration for the sanctions to be removed.

“The members of the US delegation have also acknowledged that they are aware that the sanctions are not helping, but affecting the Country’s prosperity and the implementation of the peace agreement,” Siljander said after meeting with President Kiir.

“They pledged to work harder to ensure that the sanctions are removed for South Sudan to prosper,” he added.

Mr. Siljander further said they were not in Juba to just talk but also to learn and partner together and establish the environment for long-term peace and stability.

“Because we were here from the beginning and we want to change and rebuild our relations into hope and enthusiasm, that is why we are here (Juba),” he stressed.

During the meeting, President Kiir said, he will deepen historical bilateral relations between Juba and Washington, asserting that America stood with South Sudan until independence was achieved.

“If we have peace and stability, then we can smoothly achieve economic prosperity, Justice, and Liberty in the Country,” Kiir underscored.

The President also highlighted how the arms embargo and sanctions imposed on his government are affecting the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and the prosperity of the Country.

The delegation raised a number of specific suggestions and action points that will help strengthen the bilateral relations between South Sudan and the United States of America, particularly on the arms embargo, sanctions, and other issues facing South Sudan.

On May 26, 2022, the UNSC renewed arms embargo and sanctions on individuals by a narrow margin that saw the approval of 10 out of the 15 council members to another one year – until May 31, 2022, due to persistent ceasefire violation and intensifying violence.

Meanwhile, five countries abstained from voting on the US drafted resolution. They are China, Russia, India, Gabon and Kenya.

The resolution was passed despite repeated calls by Kiir’s administration to lift the arms embargo and sanctions, Kiir argued several times that its inability to buy guns frustrated efforts to graduate unified forces. 

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs registers its displeasure against the resolution passed today by the United Nations Security Council,” the government protested shortly after the vote in May.

“We therefore ask the UNSC member states to establish co-open for the South Sudan file for greater fairness to the people of South Sudan who suffer under the cruelty of the UN sanctions and arms embargo,” the statement added. 

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