News / Africa

US Imposes Sanctions on Military, Rebel Leader in S. Sudan

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Geneva, April 17, 2014.
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Geneva, April 17, 2014.
Mike Richman
The United States has announced its first sanctions against South Sudan, where clashes between pro- and anti-government forces have left thousands of people dead since mid-December.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. is imposing financial penalties on Marial Chanuong, a government military commander, and Peter Gadet, a military leader loyal to former vice president Riek Machar.

During a Tuesday appearance with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Kerry said both men are responsible for "perpetrating unthinkable violence against civilians."

"We will do our utmost to prevent South Sudan from plunging back into the violence and despair that tore that country apart for so long," he said.

Ashton said the EU also is considering sanctions against Juba.

"I'm worried that this country is on the brink of what could be a civil war, ethnically motivated," she said. "The prospects for famine and a humanitarian disaster are really looming large now, so we need to work together. We need to work to ensure that the leaders in South Sudan really do take the action that you've identified they need to."

The sanctions will freeze any assets the two men have in the United States. The penalties also will bar U.S. citizens and companies from doing business with them.

Kerry visited South Sudan last week and met with President Salva Kiir, who agreed to attend peace talks his rival, Machar, in Ethiopia.

Earlier Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Machar had also agreed to attend talks in Addis Ababa.

Speaking in South Sudan's capital, Juba, on Tuesday, Ban stopped short of saying Machar would meet with South Sudan's president, who told reporters that he is ready to meet with Machar in the Ethiopian capital.

Ban said Machar cautioned he might not make it to Addis Ababa by Friday, the projected date for the meeting, because of his remote location.

Machar has been in hiding for months as rebel and government forces clash across South Sudan. More than 1.2 million people have been displaced by the fighting and ethnic violence.

The unrest stems from a power dispute between Kiir and Machar, which worsened in December. The two sides signed a cease-fire agreement in January, but fighting has continued.

On Monday, both sides signed an agreement to facilitate the delivery of aid to populations in need, and to consider a "month of tranquility" so people can plant crops and care for livestock.

The U.N. has warned of a possible famine in South Sudan unless people can safely return to their fields. President Kiir said Tuesday that there would be a "serious disaster ... if we do not allow our people to cultivate now."

The U.N. refugee agency reports that 11,000 South Sudanese have crossed the border into Ethiopia since Saturday, fleeing clashes between government and rebel troops in the Upper Nile region.

The agency says 315,000 South Sudanese overall have fled to neighboring countries since violence erupted in December, while more than 920,000 others are displaced internally.

Tens of thousands are sheltering at U.N. bases across the country.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Stephenpam from khartoum
May 08, 2014 1:57 AM
It is well known world wide that the american policy on resources of other countries because of oil in south sudan

by: Sam Dave from: USA
May 07, 2014 9:52 PM
Brother, Bol, you need to study South Sudan's crisis what's caused the war. Let me tell you this war is nonsense, senseless, unthinkable and fueled by greedy leaders like Kiir, Machar, Canuok, and Gadget plus Makuei who was involved himself into crisis. Look, Riek Machar is willing to have peace because he's sleeping under the trees and the rain is raining when he was forced out of Juba city and Kiir enjoyed his 4.5 billion bed and portfolios under the bed with full of billions of dollars that you even don't know and his family are living in Uganda and Kenya countries, drinking beer. But you get mad about US sanctions against president with his followers. Do the President care about his country people? You don't USA. USA try to safe you from president and former Vice president who fight over the office money. Let us pray together for peace and let mighty South Sudan get peace from selfish leaders. One day, one time God will hear us

by: Bol from: Bor
May 07, 2014 4:57 AM
The US is clearly anti-South Sudanese government. How on earth is a South Sudanese army general defending his people and his country be put on par with a rebel without cause?

When ever the rebel capture a town from the government of South Sudan, the US keeps quiet and when the government capture the town from the rebel the US gets outrage.

The US still doesn't know that South Sudanese in the don't give a damn about the US any more. South Sudan and South Sudanese people are now looking East.

To hell with the US.

by: Tobias
May 07, 2014 12:22 AM
"Unthinkable violence against civillians" so say the EU Foreign Policy Chief? Perhaps a study of Gukhurahundi, Murambatsvina, 2008 Elections and other events in Zimbabwe could enlighten peoples thinking as to humanitarian issues, which have "escaped" with the passage of time, but have all been recorded, for their benefit.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More