South Sudan on Monday protested fresh sanctions imposed by the United States on two South Sudanese Gregory Vasili and Obac William Olawo and Israel Ziv, a retired Israeli Military Officer.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Dec. 14, imposed sanctions on the trio, accusing them of prolonging the five-year-old conflict in the east African nation by supplying weapons and profiting from the war.
Ziv, is a retired Israel Defence Forces major general.
Mawien Makol, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called the latest sanctions “unjustified,” adding that they were meant to derail the recently signed peace agreement.
“Such acts does not serve well the good relations which the people and government of South Sudan always wish to exist between the two people and government,’’ Makol told reporters in Juba.
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan would like to register its concerns and protest in the strongest terms against these unjustified unilateral sanctions.
“Similarly it would stage protest on other USA statements designed to undermine implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan,’’ Makol said.
South Sudan has been embroiled in over five years of conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under United Nations pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government in April, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and forced millions of others to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.
The government and several armed factions signed another peace deal in September, and it appears to be holding, as fighting has been reduced across the country.
Makol said the government is committed to the implementation of the new peace deal, adding that Juba is ready for diplomatic dialogue with the international community and the U.S. government to seek removal of the sanctions.
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan has endeavored to promote diplomatic dialogue with the government of the United States of America, and welcomes any proposals on improving bilateral relations.
“As well as requests the U.S administration to engage in a more positive manner, than doubling on threats of sanctions and embargoes, which serves no useful purpose,’’ Makol said. (Xinhua/NAN)