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US sanctions delaying peace talks, says S. Sudan official

May 26, 2018 (ADDIS ABABA) - Sanctions imposed on South Sudanese government by the United States are encouraging rebels to stall at peace talks, a South Sudanese official said on Saturday.

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A general view of the closing session of the IGAD brokered second phase of the HLRF on 23 May 2018 - (Photo Ethiopian FM)

South Sudan’s envoy to Ethiopia and the African Union, James Morgan said the imposed arms embargo and individual sanctions slapped on some government officials have delayed the peace process.

He, however, said South Sudan government was ready to accept peace proposals in line with the country’s constitutional process.

Morgan further said the Juba government is prepared to adopt proposals capable of bridging gaps with the rebels, citing the move to reform the army and their representation in the national assembly.

In an interview with the VOA last week, Brian Shukan, a director of the office of the US special envoy for South Sudan said plans are underway to impose sanctions on individuals seen to be blocking the peace process.

"We have taken an approach using sanctions where we want to apply pressure and also to hold people accountable," said Shukan.

On Tuesday, Rival parties in South Sudan peace talks concluded the Second Phase of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) without striking a deal on the implementation of the governance and security arrangements.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Machar, leaving tens of thousands dead and millions displaced.

(ST)