3rd April 2020
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Region wants sanctions lifted

Authors: Charles Wote | Kelly Abale | Published: Monday, February 24, 2020

Kuol Manyang and Dr Martin Elia are some of the leaders the US government has blacklisted for their roles in the conflict

Some regional leaders have echoed calls to lift individual sanctions against South Sudan leaders to enable full implementation of the peace agreement.

Two weeks ago, President Salva Kiir called on member countries of the African Union to help in lifting US sanctions against South Sudan’s leaders.

This came after the Trump administration sanctioned Vice President Taban Deng Gai.

Other members of Kiir’s former cabinet including Kuol Manyang, Dr. Martin Elia , Michael Makuei, were also sanctioned in 2019 for what the US described as “obstruction of reconciliation efforts in South Sudan”.

The sanctioned former officials denied all accusations.

Speaking during the swearing in ceremony of four vice presidents of the revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity on Saturday, the Kenyan Special Envoy to South Sudan, Kalonzo Musyoka, said lifting sanctions is crucial for the implementation of the peace agreement.

“I want to urge the international community to unite behind the transitional government and to provide the necessary assistance, including the lifting on whatsoever form of sanction against this country in order to enable the nascent government of South Sudan to progress,” Musyoka stressed.

However, the US ambassador to South Sudan, Thomas Hushek, said in December 2019 that lifting of individual sanctions applies to persons who take concrete and meaningful actions to form a unity government in line with the agreed-upon terms of the peace agreement.

For his part, the Ugandan Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, said in addition to lifting of sanctions, the international community should also support the government in order to stabilize the country.

“This is the time to…ensure that maximum support is given to the government of South Sudan so that it can take off quickly and stabilize the whole country,” Dr. Rugunda told the gathering.

The swearing-in of vice presidents marked the beginning of the transitional government.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, the Transitional Period shall run for 36 months.

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