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South Sudan Kiir urges regional leaders not to enforce U.S. sanctions

February 25, 2018 (JUBA)- South Sudan President Salva Kiir asked members of the East African Community (EAC) to be intimated to external pressure and implement the U.S. or U.S.-backed international sanctions on his country.

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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)

Following the repeated violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement, State Department on Friday 2 February imposed a U.S. arms embargo on South Sudan and called on the United Nations and other countries to do the same.

Washington also ready to impose further sanctions and to back any punitive measures the IGAD and the African Union demand the UN Security Council to enforce on the spoilers of the ongoing efforts to end the four-year conflict in the country.

In a speech delivered at the 19th Ordinary East African Community Heads of State Summit in Kampala, on February. 23, Kiir requested the leaders of the East African common market area to not allow that a member state "be bullied by those who would want to cow them down so that they take whatever resources they take from the country".

"South Sudan is not supposed to be poor to the extent that we are in now. South Sudan has potentials and it is potentially rich but no opportunity was given for the development of the resources," he further said.

South Sudan was admitted to the EAC treaty on 15 April 2016 and become a full Member on 15 August 2016. It is the sixth member of the community which includes also Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The South Sudanese president claimed the first round of the second phase of the revitalization failed because opposition groups were emboldened by the sanctions rolled out by the United States of America.

“They were emboldened by a recent decision of the United States to impose sanctions. The government will not collapse and will continue to pursue the way of peace so that we stop war and return peace to the country," Kiir said

"This is what we want everyone who wants to contribute to efforts helping us to improve the current situation, not punishment,” he added.

Earlier this month, Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni assured South Salva Kiir that his government would facilitate delivery of arms defying the weapons ban and other sanctions imposed by Washington.

The peace talks sponsored by the regional bloc, the intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD) seek to revitalize the 2015 peace deal which collapsed when clashes resumed in 2016. The parties are expected to resume discussions in March following failure to reach a deal in February.

(ST)