UN sanctions intended to intimidate Gov’t
By Kidega Livingstone
The UN intended sanctions against a number of Cabinet Ministers and top government officials is a clear indication that the body is bent on disorganizing the current administration and leadership system. Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Ambassador Mawien Akol Ariik has said.
The government blamed the United Nations Security Council for proposing imposition of the sanctions against several officials at a time when the search for peace was being intensified.
Speaking to Juba Monitor on telephone interview, Ariik said that it was not the first time for the Security Council to impose sanctions against government officials in the Country.
“The Government is not happy with what the United Nations Security Council is doing to our government officials,” said Ariik.
He emphasized that it was not the right time for the Security Council to impose sanctions because the country was still searching for peace.
The United States has proposed that the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions against officials accusing them of obstructing peace efforts and blocking humanitarian assistance to civilians.
Security Council diplomats are due to meet today for negotiations on the text, with a vote scheduled for Thursday.
For the resolution to pass, it will require nine votes in favour, and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States.
The Council in 2015 sanctioned several senior members of the South Sudanese government and those from the rebel faction, due to the conflict then. A U.S. bid to impose an arms embargo in December 2015 however failed.
In November, Russia said it would be counterproductive to impose further targeted sanctions or an arms embargo on South Sudan.
The proposed measures would freeze the assets and ban travel for the six officials, including Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, former army chief Paul Malong, Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth, and Deputy Chief of Defense for Logistics in the South Sudan Army Malek Reuben Riak Rengu.
It also targeted Koang Rambang, governor of Bieh State, who the United States accused of leading military attacks and obstructing aid to civilians; and Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro.
South Sudan has been dogged by conflict since December 2015, sparked by a feud between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Dr. Riek Machar. Kiir accused the latter of plotting to overthrow his rule, allegations Machar denied but went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.
The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others.
Regional and international players have however been piling pressure on the warring factions to engage in dialogue to end the conflict, and hopefully organize an election.