U. S. might impose sanctions or an arms embargo if South Sudan's leaders do not cooperate
As reported by a senior U.S. official, the United States might impose sanctions or an arms embargo on South Sudan's leaders if they do not cooperate in a proposed unity government so as to restore peace.
"We have everything at the table, we are prepared to look at sanctions, we're prepared to look at an arms embargo", U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, has indicated.
Riek Machar fled the South Sudanese capital city at the beginning of the conflict in December 2013 which triggered the displacement of more than two million people and cost tens of thousands of lives. The United States does consider Machar's return as being an important step toward the constitution of a unity government.
The U.N. Security Council has been considering for a long time to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan but Russia has shown reluctance to back such a decision.
According to Booth, strict controls over its capital expenditure would be an effective way to eliminate weapons supplies to South Sudan and would help to allocate money to the neediest, as he has put it "We all agree there are far too many arms in South Sudan and they certainly don't need any more (...) If we can use the financial side to get at preventing additional weapons from getting into South Sudan, that would be an easier way to do it and a more effective way to do it (...) We really want to make sure that resources of the country are going to be utilized for the people, so we're taking a careful look at what has been stolen in the past and who stole it (...) We have already put the existing government and the opposition on notice that we would be looking for some kind of expenditure control mechanism in place, otherwise it would be very difficult to justify putting additional resources in support of stabilization of the macro economy".
Since December 2013, the country has received an estimated $1.6 billion in assistance from the United States.
(With Reuters Africa)