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Obama paves the way for possible US sanctions on South Sudanese officials

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April 3, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – The United States president Barak Obama on Thursday issued an executive order directing his administration to impose sanctions on South Sudanese parties responsible for ongoing violence and human rights abuses in the world youngest nation.

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U.S. President Barack Obama (Getty Images)

"All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in," reads the order.

The decision does not name specific individuals subject to those sanctions but grants authority to the US Department of Treasury and US State department to make a finding to who should be targeted.

In line with the presidential decree, the US Treasury in consultation with the State Department has the authority to target any person threatening South’s Sudan stability, committing human-rights abuses, undermining transitional agreements, democratic processes or attacking UN peacekeeping mission.

The sanctions can also be imposed on anyone expanding the conflict, obstructing reconciliation, targeting women, children or civilians with acts of violence, or recruiting child soldiers.

Washington has tried frantically tried since the start of the armed conflict last December to halt hostilities between the warring parties in South Sudan and encourage them to reach a quick agreement to stop the fighting and engage in an inclusive process brokered by the IGAD countries and to achieve peace national reconciliation.

Frustrated by the persistent breaches of the cessation of hostilities agreement, and the stalled peace process, the US together with UK, Norway and the European Union threatened on 20 March to impose sanction on any party that obstruct the talks.

However, the talks did not resume and the mediators are still seeking to bring all the parties to the negotiating table.

During the first days of the conflict, Obama’s top national security adviser Susan Rice and other high ranking officials contacted the two parties and pressed them to end the violence and reach a negotiated settlement.

The White House press secretary issued a statement on Thursday saying “those who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan, obstruct the peace process, target U.N. peacekeepers, or are responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities will not have a friend in the United States and run the risk of sanctions."

He further said that the South Sudanese government and rebels must engage in "inclusive peace process" led by the IGAD, cease military actions and bring to justice those responsible for crimes against civilians.

"The people of South Sudan are calling for peace. There is no room for excuses or delay", he concluded.

The Chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs welcomed Obama’s move, saying South Sudan was getting no closer to finding a way forward.

"We need to strongly convey to both sides - the government and the opposition - that their actions to undermine peace do have consequences," said Edward "Ed" Royce.

Edmund Yakani, the executive director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) described the US president’s move as "a remarkable act for bringing peace and stability in South Sudan."

The move marks a stunning shift in policy by the US administration which strongly backed Southern Sudanese during the civil war years with Khartoum and until they gained independence in July 2011.

Washington appeared both frustrated and torn by the lack of leverage it has over South Sudanese rivals and its desire to avoid punitive measures against the world’s youngest nation.

Relations between Juba and Washington began to shows signs of strain in 2011 over South Sudan’s alleged support to Sudanese insurgents despite repeated pledges not to.

Some observers attributed the deterioration in ties to the emerging undemocratic tendencies, which critics say has stalled internal reform within the country’s ruling party.

Late last year, differences within the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) spilled over into the army triggering fighting, which President Salva Kiir and his supporters claim was a coup attempt. This has, however, been denied by those accused of instigating the conflict, including former vice president Riek Machar.

Juba has relentlessly been trying to convince the international community of its version of events, albeit with very little success.

Last month, Sudan Tribune learnt that Juba hired KRL International, a US-based public relations firm to help reverse the trend of deteriorating relations with Washington.

Established in 2007, reportedly strives to meet the growing demand from decision-makers looking for comprehensive services to bridge the divide between the US and global emerging markets.

(ST)

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US President Executive Order Blocking Property of Certain Persons
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  • 4 April 09:45, by Rami Tot

    yes Mr Obama welcome to teach those thugs genocidal government of salva kiir pluz his colleagues Dinka who associated in killing of innocent Nuer civilian in cool blood in juba.

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    • 4 April 10:06, by Wicdail

      This is just the beginning. They will see how the world operates. They thought committing genocide against own citizens was a joke. It seems their boss doesn’t even know what moral responsibility is.

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      • 4 April 10:26, by william

        You imbecile tour imbecile your in-laws were been trying everything possible but we not care about your fake assisstance.

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    • 4 April 10:34, by Sir King

      Obama Should teach this dull and tortoise/snail’s government how to respect human right and to stop all those violations being committed by Kiir’s Warrap Militia and Dr. Riek’s White army Militia. These two leaders are doing nothing in South Sudan. We simply need Interim Administration to enhance everlasting reconciliations in South Sudan. Kiir Mayardit will never achieve this 4 being greedy

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      • 4 April 13:26, by Mi diit

        I have seen the list. Poor Kiir tops the list. Sorry Juba thugs. It has dawned on you. I told you that you will lose every diplomatic front. You must pay for your stupidity. No withdrawal of the stolen money. No movement or travel to the United States. The rest of the western world countries will follow suit. Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya are ready to comply too. Ahaaaa.... Failures!!

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        • 4 April 14:46, by Projector

          Mi Diit!!! Your Donkey Master Machar is the second on the list plus his commanders.

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        • 4 April 15:22, by Rommel

          Mi diit:
          Ah, you’ve ’seen’ the list? A couple of questions if I may: How did you get access to this list when the United States government itself has revealed that it has yet to release the names of those to be targeted!? Can you reproduce the list along with a link to a reputable source?

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          • 4 April 15:36, by Rommel

            You seem steadfast in your refusal to understand that you actually have to provide evidence for your claims. If you cannot meet this requirement, then all you’ve provided us with is a view that you want to believe in, but cannot support by way of evidence. Provide us with the list, or be resigned to having your assertions ridiculed, tagged as outré and dismissed.

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        • 4 April 16:14, by Majongdit

          Liar! Bush Boy, Nyagat. You have not seen any list. You been shouting Hague, but don’t be surprised that it’s your master, prophet of doom, Riek Machar.

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  • 4 April 10:05, by truth to be told in SS

    Business as usual is over for South Sudanese leaders. The target list should includes the following persons both on the government and the rebel sides. GOSS SIDE. 1. Marial Chengnuol cammader of Tiger unit for deliberate targeting of nuers in Juba 2. Makuei LUETH for inciding negative campaign against UNMISS. ON the Rebels side, Riek Machar, Taban, Ladu, Gatdat for masterminding the rebelion and

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  • 4 April 10:07, by Peter Marko

    Such move comes with no surprise to the vast majority of S. Sudanese, given the secret deals the traitor and backstabber has signed with his Western masters to loot our resources in exchange of making him a president. After the plan of arming the rebels using UN has failed, the western powers resorted to intimidation as a means to break the will of gov to put an end to this senseless rebellion...

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    • 4 April 10:18, by Peter Marko

      Personally, I will not be surprise if the name of the traitor, Dr. Mashit is not included in such list. Despite the many innocent lives the rebels have taken and the magnitude of the destruction to people properties, the SON of HUSIEN will not even condemn their #1 agent in the continent of Africa, let alone sanctioning him. Shame on u, Mubarak Husien Osama.

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  • 4 April 10:10, by truth to be told in SS

    wide spread atrocies and masscares in Bor, Akobo etc . ALSO, Riek and Gatdat, Taban, and Ladu are responsible for recruitment of child soldiers from Lou Nuer area.

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    • 4 April 10:47, by Sir King

      Not Dr. Riek rebel that recruits child soldiers alone but also Kiir’s armies contain children too. Obama is doing great! I love you Mr. Obama.They must go to ICC without doubt

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  • 4 April 10:41, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear All.
    The president of South Sudan, already his bottom on fire, and his legs on water cnnected with electricty, Obama connect all this to him, NO way to run No way to hide, the only choice is to surrender and go direct to I.C.C poor president.

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    • 4 April 12:20, by william

      Your usual business of rebellion step on side time without your khartuom masters on. Your side so, let see who do what. Prophet of doom is already defeated so likewise, all those evil juus shall be dealt with accordingly.

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  • 4 April 11:25, by 4Justice

    Yep, and Australia needs to replicate the same action against these reckless and distructive looters.

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  • 4 April 14:11, by Joseph

    If I am Kiir I could have rsign before thing become worse. even the money that he has stolen will never enjoy become he is known over the world as corrupt,incompetence and voilent leader.

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    • 4 April 14:45, by Adodi Jotuwa

      Ya Tami Rot, Wic dail
      Note that this is the usual "carrot and stick" of US policy. It does not say South Sudan government or President Salva Kiir Mayardit is the one responsible for violation of ceasefire. The record of the widely known violent politician since 1991 is loud and clear. President Obama cannot ever turn his back against an elected president in favor of violent leader Dr. Fool Riek.

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      • 4 April 14:54, by Adodi Jotuwa

        ...who mobilizes innocent Lou-Nuer civilians to fight for his own interest to become President of the Republic of South Sudan at any cost. Whether through violence or ballot box, put in your mind that Dr. Fool Riek will never be the President of the RSS. Believe me or not. If Salva Kiir decides not to run in 2015...someone else besides Dr. Fool Riek will be voted for. Riek is wasting his time.

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  • 4 April 14:29, by 4Justice

    How would the people of South Sudan react if desperate Kiir does the unthinkable - join the Arab league without their approval?

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  • 4 April 14:53, by Whortti Bor Manza

    The great English Language sayings which predicts events and scenarios: Familiarity breeds contempt: Sanction should target these cabals and their cohorts: Salva Kiir, Wani Igga, Michael Makuei, Riek Machar,Taban Deng,Ger Chong,Deng Alor, Elias Lumoro, Jema Noon, Kuol Manyang, Rizik Zacharia, Clement Wani, Malong Awan, Nyadeng Malith, Matur Chot etc.. The war would be stopped in two hrs.

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  • 4 April 21:47, by Altruistic

    This is a right step in the right direction to bring peace to South Sudan. The sanctions will be targeting individuals and leaders who stole the public money,committed atrocities,human right abuse and are currently obstructing the peace and stability of the country.

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  • 4 April 21:52, by Altruistic

    So we hope these sanctions will force both parties to come to a table. However, the ordinary citizens of South Sudan should not be concerned – it will not affect ordinary citizens.

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  • 5 April 06:37, by Philosopherking

    On another note, we south Sudanese should continue to press for Interim Government Kirr or Riek. This government will be tasked with paving way for a peaceful elections and the making of a constitution that support a democratic federal government, setting up a truth and reconciliation commission as well as the recovery of stolen assets by corrupt government agents. This surely will save South Suda

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  • 5 April 14:34, by Die (Truth) or Live (Lie)

    your spirit of rebelling has never stopped sine the first day of your creations foolish Nuers, even though you team up with western world against South Sudan no ways Nyagats. it is not new to us useless South Sudanese who love food a lot then their nation. long live Chinese, Russians, Iranians and Israelis.

    repondre message

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