South Sudan’s Defense Minister has described as ‘unfriendly and irresponsible,’ the decision by the United States to impose arms sanctions on the government.
According to Kuol Manyang Juuk, the move of February 2, 2018 will only thaw the revitalization of talks between the government and rebels.
“We are giving our position to the Americans that this has not come at a good time. American cannot sanction arms when the rebels are getting arms, this will make peace talks even more difficult.
And the Congress is also another power that can also block it. So we will tell the Americans to block this, its is not a healthy decision.
“(Because) the rebels will say now the government has been deprived from getting arms, then it is a chance for us to now fight, because nobody will sanction them. These are rebels, they know where they get their arms.
“They get them from here and there and America is not sanctioning them so they will even make it difficult (at the revitalization talks) to reach an agreement. So it is unfriendly and it is really very irresponsible.”
Speaking in an interview with the United Nations – operated Radio Miraya on the sideline of talks in Addis Ababa, he said the U.S. needed to withdraw the measure because it was counterproductive in many respects.
He said even though it was a decision of the American government, he was entreating the UN Security Council to express disapproval. ‘And the Congress is also another power that can also block it. So we will tell the Americans to block this, its is not a healthy decision,’ he added.
New talks on the crisis in South Sudan began in Addis Ababa on Monday (February 5) as pressure mounts on leaders to take stronger action to end the country’s four-year civil war.
The talks in Addis Ababa have been convened by the East African bloc IGAD (Inter Governmental Authority on Development) to push the warring sides back to the negotiating table after a 2015 peace deal collapsed.
Ethiopia’s foreign minister Workneh Gebeyehu said this was the “very last chance” to end the “nightmare” for South Sudanese people.