December 11, 2011 (JUBA) - Luka Biong Deng, a senior member of the South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and an executive director of the non-profit Africa/US cooperation corporation, KUSH, on Sunday released a statement thanking a US legal firm for their help in the quest to end sanctions imposed upon South Sudan.
- Luka Biong Deng (AP)
South Sudan is still affected by some of the sanctions which were imposed on Sudan before its secession in July 2011. These sanctions were imposed on Sudan by the US as it considered a state sponsor of terrorism, along with Iran, Syria and Cuba.
Deng said in an e-mail message extended to Sudan Tribune that KUSH “have engaged a pro-bono legal firm in the US, Wiley Rein, to assist Kush Inc in its application to US Government for the exemption of South Sudan from US sanctions on Sudan, particularly in petroleum sector.”
Biong left the government in Khartoum after the invasion of the contested Abyei region by the Sudan Armed Forces in May 2011.
The letter dated 9 December registered appreciation on behalf of the government of and people of South Sudan.
Several ministers including Nhial Deng Nhial, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation; Deng Alor Kuol, minister of cabinet affairs; Kosti Manibe, minister of finance and economic planning; Oyai Deng Ajak, minister of national security in the office of the president; Emmanual Lowaila, minister in the office of the president; and Stephen Dhieu Dau, minister of petroleum and mining were copied in the letter recognising assistance made by the firm.
Deng described the "tremendous" contribution of Wiley Rein, specifically with regards to their engagement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the US State Department regarding sanctions.