April 15, 2014 (WASHINGTON) — U.S. Special Envoy to South Sudan and Sudan Donald Booth says Washington’s threat to slap sanctions on anyone violating human rights or obstructing the peace process in South Sudan is not just a hollow warning but will be put into action unless the warring sides in the young country stop fighting and respect a peace deal.
“As I have continually warned, for those who continue to obstruct the peace process, we will take action,” Booth told South Sudan in Focus in an interview.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order nearly two weeks ago, clearing the way for U.S. visa bans and the seizure of assets held by anyone found to be stoking violence, violating human rights and blocking efforts to end the conflict in South Sudan.
The executive order was necessary, Booth said, because a cessation of hostilities agreement signed in late January has been repeatedly violated.
“Over the two months since that agreement was signed, there has been constant fighting, constant violations of that agreement,” Booth said.
“That’s one of the reasons why… we have moved forward with President Obama signing the executive order — to try to convince the parties that have not respected the agreement that they have signed, to do so.” he said.
The executive order should not be looked at as a threat of punishment, but as “an incentive — a carrot, if you will — to those who are trying to do the right thing,” Booth said.
“This gives them some additional room for maneuver, gives them some leverage over those who would obstruct trying to move forward and honoring the cessation of hostilities agreement,” Booth said.