US hits South Sudan with arms embargo, EU sanctions officials

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The United States is imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan with the Trump administration urges the UN and other countries to do the same.

The State Department confirmed on Friday that it’s imposing the embargo as relations between the US and South Sudan continue to deteriorate. While the EU also imposed sanctions against three current and former officials implicated in human rights violations and obstructing South Sudan’s peace process.

The US imposes arms embargo

The US arms embargo against South Sudan restricts all sales of weapons and other defence equipment to the country. However, the State Department is aware this will have a limited effect on South Sudan’s civil conflict. The US is calling upon the United Nations to impose a global embargo against South Sudan and for the countries neighbours to impose similar embargos.

“The message must be clear – the United States, the region and the international community will not stand idly by as innocent South Sudanese civilians are murdered,” the State Department’s statement said.

This comes after US ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States no longer supports South Sudan President Salva Kiir, calling him an “unfit partner” last month.

EU sanctions against officials

Two South Sudanese officials and one former official also had sanctions placed against them by the European Union on Friday. Former army Chief of Staff General Paul Malong, Deputy Chief of Defense and Inspector General Malek Reuben Riak and Information Minister Michael Makuei Leuth now face asset freezes and travel bans to EU countries.

The EU move comes five months after the US imposed similar sanctions against the trio “for their roles in threatening the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan.”.

Great Britain has welcomed the sanctions and said it will do its part in trying to bring an end to the conflict in South Sudan.

“It is more vital than ever that those undermining the peace process recognize the price of their actions,” said Britain’s minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin. “The UK has played a leading role in pushing for these sanctions at an EU level and it is right that we are taking tough action against those who continue to act against the interests of the South Sudanese people.”

Featured image: By United States Department of State (DOS).This vector image was created by Ali Zifan – http://www.usflagsupply.com/This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this:  US-DeptOfState-Seal.svg., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43168396

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.