US-South Sudan relations in trouble – US diplomat

Photo: The US Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek speaks during a press conference at the US embassy in Juba, South Sudan, on December 19, 2019 |Credit | PETER LOUIS/AFP via Getty Images.

December 28th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The United States Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek has said that US-South Sudan relations are in trouble over reluctant of the President Salva Kiir’s government to end the ongoing civil war.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after civilians from the Nuer ethnic group were killed by a militia group belonging to President Salva Kiir Mayardit. This triggered protest from Nuer army generals serving in the then SPLA leading to fighting.

Since then, the United States government has been in odds with the government in Juba over how it handle the peace process meant to end the civil.

Recently, the United States sanctioned two South Sudan ministers for their role in the obstruction of the peace process. The week before, the US had imposed visa restrictions on South Sudan politicians hampering efforts to end the war.

“The US stands in solidarity with the people of South Sudan. We have supported South Sudan even before independence; we supported self-determination and independence; we are the number one supporter of the humanitarian sector. That relationship stands solid,” Hushek told the East African in an exclusive interview.

“However, government-to-government relations have been in trouble since the outbreak of civil war at the end of 2013. We had to take steps to push the government to keep the peace and to use national resources to drive development and not conflict. This has been a difficult conversation and we continue to hold South Sudan as we work towards a peaceful future,” he added.

The US diplomat further threatened that more sanctions were underway and that the United States was monitoring the ongoing process and those hampering efforts to end the civil war.

“Well, it’s the start, with people named in the UN panel of experts report. We have clear documentation on that but we are continuing to review various individuals including those who have obstructed the peace process and those who have contributed to corruption which has fueled conflict,” he said.

“It is possible there will be more sanctions. We are keen on seeing corrective action taken. We are not using sanctions for the sake of sanctions but this is one pressure tool and we will continue to use it if we need to,” he added.

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