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U.S. Presses Accountability In South Sudan Crisis


Rebel fighters hold up their rifles as they walk in front of a bushfire in a rebel controlled territory in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, Feb. 13, 2014.

Concerned about the continuing violence in South Sudan, the United States has established a new authority to sanction those who are contributing to the crisis.

Concerned about the continuing violence in South Sudan, the United States has established a new authority to sanction those who are contributing to the crisis.

President Barack Obama signed an order on April 3 authorizing economic sanctions to be imposed on those in the troubled East African nation who threaten its stability or who commit human rights abuses. Specific individuals are not named, but the action grants the U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. State Department the authority to designate for sanctions those who obstruct the peace process, violate the January 23rd Cessation of Hostilities agreement, or commit human rights abuses.

Under the order, any property held in the United States by an offending party would be blocked and its assets here frozen. Individuals and businesses receiving payment or assets from those sanctioned would also see those monies and assets blocked.
The action is needed, President Obama said, because the ongoing, widespread violence in South Sudan, the atrocities, human rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers and obstruction of humanitarian operations constitute a national emergency.

We call on all of South Sudan’s leaders to honor their commitments by working quickly and earnestly toward an inclusive and comprehensive political dialogue. With the International Authority on Development and other partners in the region, we will continue to support the expedited release of those detained in Juba and elsewhere, and to ensure their meaningful participation in a political dialogue. Given the needs of the thousands of South Sudanese who have been displaced by the fighting, we also call on the parties to facilitate aid by humanitarian groups to all in need, regardless of location.

The United States continues to stand with the people of South Sudan, the United Nations mission there and all those working under difficult and dangerous conditions to alleviate the suffering and protect innocent civilians affected by the crisis.

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