By Spy Uganda Correspondent
The visiting United States congress members lamented that individual sanctions imposed on South Sudan have impeded the country’s transition to prosperity and the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.
The US delegates made the statement during their meeting with President Salva Kiir on Saturday in Juba.
They discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and creating avenues for the lifting of sanctions on South Sudan to unlock prosperity.
“The members of the US delegation have also acknowledged that they are aware that the sanctions are not helping, but affecting the Country’s prosperity and the implementation of the peace agreement,” a statement from the office of the president said.
“They pledged to work harder to ensure that the sanctions are removed for South Sudan to prosper. The delegation raised a number of specific suggestions and action points that will help strengthen the bilateral relations between South Sudan and the United States of America, particularly on the arms embargo, sanctions, and other issues facing South Sudan.“
Mark Siljader, the head of the delegation, promised to discuss with the US government how it will support the South Sudanese government to steer toward peace, stability, prosperity, liberty and justice.
“Because we were here from the beginning and we want to change and rebuild our relations into hope and enthusiasm and that is why we are here,” Mark stated.
President Salva Kiir hailed the US government for continued support dating back to the liberation struggle, adding that such historical relations should be bolstered.
“If we have peace and stability, then we can smoothly achieve economic prosperity, justice, and liberty in the country,” said the president.
Kiir said the arms embargo has been affecting the peace process and led to the slow pace of the country’s transition to prosperity.
On May 26, 2022, the United Nations Security Council extended the arms embargo and sanctions on individuals by a year until May 31, 2023.
This was after votes for the lifting of sanctions and arms embargo by China, Gabon, Kenya, and Russia were overwhelmed by votes from Albania, Brazil, France, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States, who supported the extension.
The Spokesperson of South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), Maj Gen Lul Ruai Koang, said forces would be graduated despite the renewed embargo.
“With or without an arms embargo, forces will be graduated when all is said and done,” Koang said.
The official spokesperson of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and representative to CTSAMVM, Samuel Chan, said it was imperative for South Sudanese to accept one another first to correct the mess that comes with sanctions and embargo.
“Our country can only be lifted from all these sanctions when we accept ourselves as sons and daughters of this great nation, but when we continue hating ourselves amidst the abundant resources our country possesses, then we will continue to rely on foreign aid,” Chan warned.
The UNSC and the US wanted to see to complete implementation of the peace agreement as a guarantee for the lifting of the sanctions of the arms embargo.
However, the country is due to graduate its first batch of necessary unified forces (NUF) on August 30, 2022.