UK says the international community would consider imposing targeted sanctions and a UN arms embargo if South Sudan’s warring parties failed to reach the proposed peace agreement.
In a press release issued by the UK’s Foreign Office ahead of the IGAD Summit on 17 August, UK’s Minister for Africa, Grant Shapps, urged South Sudan’s leaders to sign the peace deal to end suffering of the their people.
Mr Shapps cautioned that the warring parties must not waste this opportunity for peace.
“If this opportunity is not seized by South Sudan’s government and opposition, we would need to consider other options, including the African Union’s earlier call for targeted sanctions and a UN arms embargo,” he said.
South Sudan’s leaders must make the necessary compromises to reach agreement, end the fighting and move their country forward, continued the statement.
According to the UN, the violence has cost the young nation thousands of lives; and almost 2 million people have been displaced since it broke out in December 2013.
Juba shakes off pressure
President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar are today expected in Ethiopia for the IGAD summit attended by Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Sudan president, Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn.
The spokesperson of government delegation to the peace talks who dismissed earlier media reports that the government has withdrawn its delegates from Addis Ababa says it was only the Chief Negotiator, Honorable Nhial Deng Nhial, who was to go to Juba to brief President Salva Kiir on the contentious issues before he could travel to Addis Ababa for the summit this weekend.
Michael Makuei, who is also the minister of information told Eye Radio in Addis Ababa, that Kiir is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa anytime for the summit of the IGAD heads of state.
Makuei is quoted telling press that efforts by IGAD to set deadlines in the negotiations process and imposing an agreement which is not yet accepted and owned by the parties, makes the regional bloc dictatorial.
“If it is a negotiation I don’t see any reason why should the mediators move out from their role of mediators and they become dictators.”
“There is no way a mediator would dictate and say, ‘You must do this.’ If you… use the language of threats – then you are no longer the mediator.”
To Makuei, a mediator is supposed to harmonize between positions; he expressed disappointment in Seyoum Mesfin, the chief mediator for threatening that if the parties are not signing on the 17th that they will apply ‘Plan B.’