U.S. blacklists three South Sudan officials for civil war

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South Sudan's ousted army chief Paul Malong addresses the media after returning to the South Sudan's capital of Juba, May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
South Sudan’s ousted army chief Paul Malong addresses the media after returning to the South Sudan’s capital of Juba, May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions against 2 senior South Sudanese officials and the country’s former army chief in a warning to the government of president Salva Kiir over increasing attacks on civilians in the country’s four-year civil war, Reuters reports.

In a statement by the U.S. Treasury Department, deputy chief of defense for logistics in South Sudan’s army, Malek Reuben Riak Rengu; former army chief sacked, Paul Malong, and Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth had been blacklisted for their roles in dividing South Sudan, obstructing of peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in the country.

The measures freeze any assets held by the three in the United States, but the three men denied that they hold treasures in the State.

The spokesman at South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry, Mawien Makol, called Washington’s announcement unfortunate, stating that such sanctions can undermine the efforts of the 2015 peace deal.

On the other hand, a senior official in the opposition SPLA-IO group, Nathaniel Oyet welcomed the move, though said it had come a bit late.

Oyet expressed his confidence in Trump’s administration in fixing the crisis in South Sudan.

U.S. new aid administrator, Mark Green visited South Sudan before and called on ending the war. It showed that Trump government was reconsidering its backing for President Salva Kiir, who won the independence in 2010 with the support of Washington.

Conflict began in the world’s youngest nation in 2013 after Kiir, an ethnic Dinka fired his deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer. Nearly 4 million people have fled the country, creating the continent’s largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, this according to the report.

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