Officials in South Sudan have condemned the United States and African Union, AU, for demanding that hefty sanctions be placed on the country, claiming that such a move would jeopardize its peace process.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Mawien Makol was quoted saying “when you talk of sanctions, it cannot bring peace to the country,” according to the Juba Monitor newspaper.
“What we need as a government is encouragement from the region, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, and from the members of the international community,” he added.
However, not long after the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia came to a close, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU Commission chairperson, said that "saboteurs" of peace in South Sudan must be met with sanctions.
“The time has come to sanction those who are blocking peace in South Sudan,” he commented.
The remarks were the same tune played by Nikki Haley, the top U.S. diplomat to the United Nations, as she seeks to shore up support for sanctions against President Salva Kiir’s government. The reason: his alleged inability to restore peace and stability in the country.
However, Makol argued that such measures would risk spoiling the chance for peace and, instead, fuel the flames of conflict and suffering of the people, according to CGTN.
“Sanctions will not help bring peace to South Sudan, instead it would spoil the chance for lasting peace,” he said.
The call for sanctions against South Sudan has come after several violations of the recent Cessation of Hostilities truce by rebel forces and the government.