US warns of sanctions if peace is not implemented

US ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek. Photo: Eye Radio

Juba, October 9, 2019 (SSNA) — The United States ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek said his government is prepared to impose harsh sanctions if South Sudan’s government refuses to implement the peace agreement.

The warning came a few weeks after South Sudan president and information minister Micheal Makuey Lueth proclaimed that a transitional government will be formed by November 12 with or without the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation movement/Army-In Opposition Dr. Riek Machar.

In a press conference in Juba on Tuesday, Hushek reminded the people that the unity government means all parties to the agreement participate in the would-be transitional government. His message seems to reject Kiir’s suggestion that he is ready to form a provisional government with or without Machar.

“What we all have when we see November 12, we don’t say ‘with or without.’ November 12 in our minds is implementing the peace agreement, which is a unity government, including all the parties. So if you have one other party which is not moving on then you don’t have a unity government by definition of the peace agreement,” Hushek explains.

The ambassador also states that the American government is fully aware of those who want to impede the peace process and warns the United States stands ready to follow and find money stolen from South Sudan by corrupt officials.

“We don’t want ill-gotten gains to be finding its way into our financial systems. If a country finds out that money that was stolen from the people here by corrupt officials, if it’s being invested in the U.S., sometimes sanctions can help a country get those ill-gotten gains back,” he cautioned.

Relations between Washington and Juba have become strange. Early this year, South Sudan accused the United States of working against peace in the war-wracked young nation. The accusation was prompted days after the U.S. announced that it will not fund the peace process, saying Juba’s regime cannot be trusted when it comes to the management of money.

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