News / USA

US Evaluating Ways to Maintain Pressure on Warring S. Sudan Parties

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, accompanied by USAID Assistant Administrator for Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg, testifies on Capitol Hill, Jan. 9, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on situation in South Sudan.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, accompanied by USAID Assistant Administrator for Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg, testifies on Capitol Hill, Jan. 9, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on situation in South Sudan.
The White House Friday declined to confirm a report that the United States is considering imposing targeted sanctions against the government of South Sudan.  Washington, however, continues to evaluate ways it can maintain pressure on warring South Sudan parties to bring an end to fighting.  

White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked by VOA about a Reuters news report from the United Nations that the United States is weighing imposing targeted sanctions in a move to increase pressure on warring parties.  Reuters quoted what it called a source briefed on U.S. discussions.  Reuters said this was confirmed by another source, but both provided no details on precise measures being considered.

Carney said he could not respond to the Reuters report.  But Jonathan Lalley, Assistant Press Secretary for National Security, said the U.S. is "continually evaluating what more we might do to keep up the pressure on the parties to make progress on negotiations."

On Thursday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice had issued one of the strongest statements yet, aside from President Barack Obama's appeal last month about fighting in South Sudan.

She urged both sides in the conflict to sign an agreement to cease hostilities immediately and voiced disappointment that South Sudan's government had not released detainees.

Jay Carney declined to respond to another question about whether the U.S. continues to have confidence in President Salva Kiir.

Carney, however, emphasized ongoing U.S. concern about the situation in South Sudan.

"I think we are all, from the president on down, concerned about the violence there and instability that it creates," he said.

In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Thursday, witnesses suggested use of targeted sanctions as a way of exerting pressure for an end to violence.

"You can collect the evidence and use that evidence immediately to impose targeted sanctions against individuals who are found to be perpetrating and suspected of perpetrating mass atrocities, and leading these kinds of things," said John Prendergast, a former U.S. State Department official.

Other options for targeted sanctions include such steps as banning travel by officials and freezing assets.

South Sudanese government troops said they recaptured the town of Bentiu in oil-producing Unity state, after a battle with rebel forces loyal to former vice president Riek Machar.  

Delegations representing both sides were sent to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for peace talks, but have not yielded results.  

In testimony to Congress, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield blamed what she called a huge political rift in the governing Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), rather than a coup attempt, for the fighting.

The United States, along with countries that neighbor South Sudan, are concerned about the humanitarian repercussions of fighting, which according to the United Nations, has displaced more than 200,000 people.

  • Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
  • People unload the few belongings on Jan. 9, 2014 at Minkammen, South Sudan, that they were able to bring with them to camps for the displaced.
  • Displaced men recuperate from their injuries as they rest on the floor at a United Nations hospital in Tomping camp, near Juba, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • A displaced man, undergoing treatments for his injuries, is seen at a United Nations hospital at Tomping camp, near Juba, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Soldiers from Rwanda serving under United Nations Mission in South Sudan keep watch from an observatory point at Tomping camp, near Juba, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Displaced people wash their clothes in a drainage canal at Tomping camp, near Juba, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Displaced people prepare their meals at Tomping camp near Juba, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into Uganda, settle in the village of Ochaya, Jan. 7, 2013.
  • Refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into Uganda rest and await transportation from a transit center in Koboko, Jan. 6, 2014.
  • Refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into Uganda are seen in Koboko, Jan. 6, 2014.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Kurdish service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs