U.S. threatens sanctions against S. Sudan leaders

Apr 28, 2016, 7:06 AM EDT
South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar
(Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/flickr)

Signaling its growing frustration over the two-year internal conflict in South Sudan, the U.S. said it was deliberating sanctions or an arms embargo on the country’s leaders if they didn’t cooperate in a proposed unity government. Thousands of people have been killed and over millions displaced in a war-ravaged South Sudan since a civil war broke out in the country in 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar.

Donald Booth, U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan said, “We have everything at the table; we are prepared to look at sanctions, we are prepared to look at an arms embargo”, reports Al Jazeera.  The U.N. Security Council has long been proposing sanctions on South Sudan but could not push it through due to veto-power Russia’s opposition.

Last year in August, the U.S. brokered a peace deal between Kiir and Machar and proposed the formation of a unity government to put an end to the bloodshed in the country. In a major step towards restoring normalcy in South Sudan, rebel leader Machar returned to the capital Juma, where he was sworn as vice president on Tuesday.

Earlier, the U.S. state department had rebuked both the parties for blocking peace efforts and deliberately delaying Machar’s return to South Sudan, notes Reuters.