January 16, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan government Monday has welcomed the decision of the outgoing U.S. President Barrack Obama to stand with countries in the region against armed opposition in South Sudan.
- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (seated) signs a peace agreement in Juba, August 26, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomu)
Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak, described the change in the initial U.S. policy towards the young nation as commendable shift in foreign relations.
“This is what we as the government has been saying from the beginning that sanctions and apportioning blames do not help. We have been saying the country needs peace and stability instead of apportioning blames and equates the government to negative force,” said Gatluak when reached on Monday.
The official was reacting to the decision of the U.S. administration to partially lift sanctions placed on Sudan due to the role played by Khartoum in achieving progress in five key areas, including its refusal to interfere in the South Sudanese crisis or supporting the armed opposition. Khartoum also opened the joint border to transport by river and land humanitarian assistance to the conflict affected areas in South Sudan.
Since several months the outgoing American administration informed Juba of its intention to lift sanctions and advised the two countries to work together to normalize bilateral relations.
Last year, the Sudanese government hosted the rebel leader Riek Machar in Khartoum for some time but prevented him from undertaking hostile activities against Juba.
Several rebel leaders sought Khartoum support against Juba because the latter was accused of harbouring Sudanese armed groups.