President Museveni calls for easing of sanctions against South Sudan

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called for European countries to ease sanctions imposed on South Sudan.

Museveni who is at the centre of initiatives to bring peace to the world’s youngest nation says sanctions will impede any progress made so far.

The call follows a meeting between Museveni with a visiting British delegation . The delegation also included UK’s minister of state for Armed Forces, Colonel Mark Lancaster.

The UK was supportive of the sanctions imposed by the European Union last year.

The sanctions include assets freezes and a ban on travel to EU countries on three South Sudanese officials; Paul Malong, Malek Reuben and Michael Makuei. The three were implicated in human rights violations and obstructions of their country’s peace process.

This week, the UN Security Council also imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan until May 2019.

The resolution expressed concern at the failure of South Sudan’s rivalling leaders to bring an end to the hostilities.

The world’s youngest nation descended into civil war in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused former vice president Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denied the allegations but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, making South Sudan become Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.

An agreement was signed earlier this month between the rival factions, seeking to revive a peace deal signed in 2016, one that set up a unity government.

Should this go through, Machar would re-take his role as vice president.