November 19, 2016 (JUBA) - A member of South Sudan’s armed opposition faction has slammed a United States proposal for sanctions against Riek Machar, describing the move as “inconsistent” to findings of what actually sparked off renewed violence in the South Sudan capital in July.
- Machar speaks on a mobile phone after an interview with Reuters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi July 8, 2015
The U.S has demanded the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on the leader of the armed opposition (SPLM-IO), South Sudan army chief, and the information minister for hampering South Sudan’s peace accord.
An annex of the U.S resolution, the Associated Press reported, called for an arms embargo and new sanctions proposes to impose travel bans and freeze the assets of rebel leader Riek Machar, Gen. Paul Malong Awan and South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth.
But David Jany Yak, a rebel appointed governor in Unity state, accused the U.S of failing to find out about groups of people, who instigated continued violence in South Sudan.
Yak said the armed opposition leader was working hard in the interest of peace and stability in war-torn South Sudan.
“We don’t see any genuine reasons to include Dr. Riek Machar in the list when he was just running for his life after being forced to flee from Juba. What has he [Riek] done for him to get listed with war criminals like Malong and Makuei,” asked Yak.
He said prior to Machar’s return to Juba in April, the armed opposition forces were only permitted to return to Juba with only 1,200 troops, a testimony they were for peace, not war.
According to Yak, the U.S, which played key roles in events that led to South Sudan’s independence, has betrayed the young nation and its people by lying to the entire world.
“Dr. Machar and the entire leadership of SPLM/A I.O voluntarily accepted to go to the militarized Juba with as less as 1,200 soldiers early this year simply because of peace. Unless the TROIKA [U.S, Britain and Norway] and the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] countries had a hidden agenda when they forced the I.O to Juba, they would agree with the U.S,” he stressed.
The armed opposition official is appealing to world leaders to rescue the South Sudan peace process by actively involving Machar, who also signed the August 2015 accord.
The Security Council has already imposed sanctions on six South Sudanese commanders, three from the government and three from the armed opposition movement.
Last year, the U.S. failed to blacklist Malong and top rebel commander, Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony, after Russia, China, Angola and Venezuela opposed it.