US mulls targeted sanctions against South Sudan

No decisions have been made yet, the sources added. Targeted sanctions focus on specific individuals, entities or sectors of country.

Washington | Published: January 11, 2014 12:30 am

The United States is weighing targeted sanctions against South Sudan due to failure of leaders in the world’s youngest nation to take steps to end a crisis that has brought the country to the brink of civil war, sources briefed on US discussions told Reuters.
“It’s a tool that has been discussed,” a source told Reuters about the possibility of US sanctions against those blocking peace efforts or fuelling violence in South Sudan. Another source confirmed the remarks.
No decisions have been made yet, the sources added. Targeted sanctions focus on specific individuals, entities or sectors of country.
The US government was unlikely to consider steps intended to economically harm impoverished South Sudan but would likely focus on any measures on those individuals or groups it sees as blocking efforts at brokering peace or committing atrocities.
Traditionally, US sanctions against individuals or groups involve a ban on travel to the United States and freezing of their assets in US banks.
Three weeks of fighting, often along ethnic lines, is ringing alarm bells in Washington over the prospect that the conflict could spiral into full-blown civil war, spawning atrocities or making South Sudan the world’s next failed state.
The fact that Washington is thinking of threatening US sanctions against a country it helped create and supports with large amounts of aid shows how frustrated President Barack Obama’s administration has become with President Salva Kiir and a rebel faction led by former Vice President Riek Machar.
In a statement Thursday, the White House urged both sides in the escalating conflict to sign an agreement to cease hostilities immediately.

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