South Sudan accuses US of working against peace over aid cut

Salva kiir. Photo: File/Getty Images

Juba, December 17, 2018 (SSNA) — South Sudanese government has accused the United States of acting against the ongoing peace process, saying Washington’s recent decision to end its financial assistance to Juba could impede the implementation of Khartoum’s peace agreement.

South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry spokesman Mawien Makol responded to US sanctions on Monday, describing Washington’s move as “unjustifiable.”

“The government of South Sudan would like to register its concern and protest in the strongest terms against these unjustified unilateral sanctions, and on other USA statements designed to undermine the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan,” Mawien told reporters in Juba.

“The decision by the US can only be described as unjustifiable. It comes in the wake of the peace deal. The US should have provided support in pursuit of holdout groups to join peace. We are not worried about the sanctions. We still need them,” the visibly furious Mawien explained.

The spokesman also says South Sudan wants the American government to engage in a positive way.

“The government of South Sudan has endeavored to promote dialogue with the government of United States of America, and welcomes any proposals on improving bilateral relations, and requests the US administration to engage in a more positive manner with Juba,” he said.

On December 13, the United States announced that it will no longer offer loans or financial aid to South Sudan, saying the young nation’s leaders are “morally bankrupt.” The U.S. also imposed sanctions on two South Sudanese officials and one retired Israeli military official on December 14.

It is not exactly clear why Juba accuses Washington of acting against the peace process. However, a senior government official who asked for anonymity for fear of reprisal told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) after Mawien’s news conference that the accusations against the US are simply a part of government tactic designed to blame the American government for nothing. The official discloses that intense talks between President Salva Kiir and selected few senior government officials have been ongoing since last Thursday.

“First of all, the United States gave us a lot of money and we misused them. This is a fact that must be told,” the official confesses, adding, “For a person like Mawien to accuse the American government of working against peace because they decided to take back their money is not a good diplomacy.”

The official further disclosed to the SSNA that the decision by the United States to cancel its financial support to South Sudan and recent sanctions against three individuals including Salva Kiir’s brother-in-law caught Juba by surprise. The official suggests that his government should stay away from “inflammatory languages” against the US, warning, “things could turn badly for Juba” if they continue talking in this way.”

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