The Southern Sudanese government has
welcomed calls by U.S special envoy Scott Gration for a partial lifting of
sanctions against Sudan.
Gration said specific restrictions
should be lifted to help develop the Southern Sudanese region.
The region is
still recovering from 22 years of civil war between the north and south, which
left tens of thousands dead and destroyed infrastructure.
Gration adds that the
restrictions on the north-led government "have spilled over" into the
region impeding the Southern governments development efforts.
Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, head of Southern Sudan's
mission to the United States, told VOA that his government
is determined to improve the lives of its peoples.
there are some sanctions that are seen to be hindering developments in the
South, then they can be lifted because that was the intention of the U.S Congress.
To exempt Southern Sudan from the sanctions so that the development can be
taken," Gatkuoth said.
said his government is against lifting sanctions that would bolster the
position of its northern partners.
will not welcome any sanctions (being lifted) that will benefit the National
Congress Party because they will abuse it and they will use it to embolden
themselves and entrench themselves so that they can continue to operate and
marginalize all the marginalized people in Sudan," he said.
Gatkuoth denied his government has been
unfairly accusing its northern partners.
know the history of the National Congress Party is known to any Sudanese. What
they always do is sign an agreement with any political party or any movement
and then when you have an agreement with them, the intention for them is to continue to use that agreement
as a tool to empower themselves, (but) not to change the system," Gatkuoth said.
said the south feels the need to rebuild Sudan as a whole.
of now, we need to fix Sudan. Sudan is a mess and this is why the SPLM (Sudan's
People Liberation Movement) is calling for a new Sudan. We need to fix it," he
Gatkuoth said there were indications that
Washington would lift some sanctions.
U.S committed themselves to lift the sanctions, but what happened after the
agreement? Darfur broke out; they continued to do killings in Darfur. Then how
do you expect the sanctions to be lifted if they are continuing to kill our
people in Darfur? Gatkuoth asked.
Special Envoy Scott Gration is scheduled to travel to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Friday
to witness ongoing talks between Darfur rebels aimed at finding a lasting
solution to the six-year war in the restive Darfur region.