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US to consider more individual sanctions over S. Sudan crisis

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July 3, 2014 (JUBA) – The US government may consider more individual sanctions if warranted against those found to be thwarting efforts to resolve the South Sudan crisis, visiting state department officials told reporters on Wednesday.

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The conflict in South Sudan has had a devastating impact on the civilian population, forcing hundreds of thousands to take refuge at UN bases across the country (AFP)

Steven Feldstein, the deputy assistant secretary of state in the bureau of democracy, human rights and labour, said all options are on the table to pressure both parties to resume peace talks, which were suspended indefinitely by mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) last week.

“At the moment economic sanctions [on South Sudan] are not on the table, but we are talking about individual sanctions, which we already have done,” said Feldstein at the conclusion of his trip to the capital, Juba.

He warned that those responsible for ongoing violations could be hit with US government sanctions.

“We are thinking about all options right now and we are trying to put more pressure … certainly for the peace to hold,” he said.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict and a worsening humanitarian situation since political tensions in the ruling SPLM erupted in violence in mid-December last year.

The fighting has pitted troops loyal to president Salva Kiir against rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar, who was sacked last July.

Both sides have been accused of committing atrocities, including rape and forced detention and ethnic killings.

During his visit, Feldstein called on the government and opposition forces to show their commitment to holding their fighters accountable for atrocities documented by human rights groups.

“We do believe some sort of mechanism of accountability needs to be in place,” he said.

In May, the US slapped sanctions on two leading army commanders on opposing sides of the South Sudan conflict amid growing frustration in Washington with the country’s rival leaders and the slow pace of political negotiations.

Under the sanctions, Peter Gadet, an army commander loyal to Machar, and Maj-Gen Marial Chanuong, head of Kiir’s presidential guard, were banned from travelling to the US and any assets in the country frozen.

Feldstein said his government would not impose a solution to resolve the conflict, but stressed the need for all stakeholders to participate in the peace process.

IGAD called off talks last week after opposition delegates boycotted negotiations after claiming the selection process for other stakeholders wanting to participate in talks was unfair.

(ST)

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  • 3 July 23:33, by Ito

    Yes, the government of Salva Kiir needs to be sanction as a way of pressuring it to sign peace and accept federal system of governance otherwise we will take him by force. He is doing whatever he can to keep himself and his tribe in power and loot resources of all to enrich one tribe. Millions of dollars have been personally and electronically distributed to Dinka since 2005. Is this good?

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    • 3 July 23:40, by Ito

      It would be a great mistake to sanction Dr. Riek’s movement because he is the only South sudanese leader who care about the interest of the masses. Dr. Riek is a gift from God and anybody who tries to kill him will be kill before he even see Riek. Why kill a uniting factor and a charismatic and compassionate leader. You people are not nice. The money blind you. Dr. Riek is not a simple head like

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      • 3 July 23:43, by Ito

        Salva. Dr. Riek is a philospher, he knows what will happen today and predicted the future of the country 100 years from now and beyond, now where is Salva here? Dr. Riek with one word can destroy salva. Dr. Majak Agoot according to Dinka standard is the smartest and he said "stupid majority" I appeal to all now to follow Dr. Riek if you need peace, democracy under federal system, equality etc.

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        • 4 July 08:11, by Ahmed Chol

          Indictment, not sanctions! The citizens want to see the big guys who stirred up this conflicted indicted and arrested. This is will deter future war lords in south Sudan, otherwise the same catastrophe will repeat itself in the in the next few years.

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    • 4 July 18:48, by Peacocktail

      Ito,
      You behave as if you came from old age generation. we are discussing national agenda not tribal agenda please. you heart is pushing further from realities. South Sudan is not for any tribe. Rebels leaders including Machar and Taban may be a added into the list of Terrorists as well Kiir Official- Chief of General Staff,Interior and Information minister, Presidential Legal advisor are a amongs

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  • 4 July 15:56, by Positive Thinker

    Ito please stop your foolishness, I am getting to believe that you have nothing to offer but tribal hatred. why do you want to tell America who to sanction and who not to sanction. if you have the power to sanction, then give it. you are realy a big fool

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  • 4 July 19:10, by Never

    Those people as sanctions have no dream to visited us or anywhere because they can not ruck for English .

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