South Sudan says U.S. sanctions emboldening rebels to stall at peace talks

U.S. sanctions on the South Sudanese government are emboldening rebels to stall at peace talks, a South Sudanese official said on Saturday.

Speaking to local and foreign media in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, James Morgan, South Sudan Ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU, said U.S. “meddling” in the form of arms embargo and individual sanctions on South Sudan government officials have made attaining peace in South Sudan difficult.

Morgan said that the South Sudanese government is ready to accept peace proposals that accept South Sudan’s constitutional process.

Morgan further said the government is prepared to accommodate proposals that bridge gaps with the rebels, such as reforming the composition of the army and on parliamentary representation.

On Wednesday, Brian Shukan, Director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, U.S. Department of State, said the U.S. government is willing to increase pressure on South Sudan warring sides to reach deal to end the civil war that is inching towards its 5th year.

His comment came shortly after the latest round of South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa failed to produce an agreement among the various warring sides in the civil war.

Already, the U.S. has imposed arms embargo and several rounds of targeted sanctions on current and former South Sudanese officials in the form of asset freezes and travel bans.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to split in the army, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines.

Since then the country has been embroiled in a conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

Source : xinhuanet