Government says US oil sanctions not effective, threatens to shift alliance to China

South Sudan Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth (File photo)
South Sudan Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth (File photo)

May 21st 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government on Sunday says United States sanctions on its oil entities, imposed last month by the world’s powerful country are not effective threatening to shift what they referred to as alliance to the people’s Republic of China, a communist state in odds with the United States.

According to the Ugandan Oil and Gas Journal, South Sudan’s information minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth threatened to turn to China for help as he mentioned that some of the equipment are already coming from the communist country saying the US sanctions already in place are ineffective.

“US restrictions are not affecting us because oil is being produced (by China National Petroleum Corporation) and all equipment is being brought in from China via Port Sudan,”  the Journal quoted Gatkuoth as saying.

The United States Department of Commerce slapped sanctions on South Sudan ministry of Petroleum, the Ministry of Mining in addition to state oil company, the Nilepet.

Also included in the United States sanctions are the  Dar Petroleum Operating Company, an oil and gas consotium led by the China National Petroleum Corp and the Mayaysia’s state-run gas firm Petronas.

The restrictions also cover oil distributor Nyakek and Sons; Greater Pioneer Operating; Juba Petrotech Technical Services; Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum, and Sudd Petroleum Operating. The companies and government bodies would in future require special licenses to do business in the United States.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1” reportedly after President Kiir ordered a failed attempt to arrest the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar.

Late last year, the IGAD decided to revive the peace agreement and had initiated a peace revival mechanism known as the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) to bring back to life the 2015 peace agreement. Peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa resumed on Thursday with little optimism as President Kiir said he is unwilling to accept the return of the country’s former first vice president and two armies both of whom are major opposition demands.

The IGAD has given the negotiating parties May 21st as the ultimatum to sign peace but it is still unclear what would be the consequences in case the warring parties do not meet the dateline.



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