The U.S. government announced Wednesday that the Treasury Department has placed targeted sanctions on South Sudanese officials and companies, saying the targets personally profited from a climate of corruption at the expense of many of the country’s residents.
The United Nations declared on Thursday that the “stage is being set” for a repeat of the Rwandan genocide as ethnic cleansing is being carried out in certain areas of South Sudan.
South Sudanese troops ravaged through a hotel complex frequented by foreign aid workers last month while a United Nations force stood by in a neighboring area and the U.S. Embassy did not act despite repeated pleas for help to both.
The Obama administration’s decision to loosen certain sanctions on Sudan’s government—which is accused of genocide and supporting terrorism—is drawing sharp criticism from some who say that the sale of communications hardware and software to the country will enable government surveillance of citizens.
Human rights activists are assailing the Obama administration for the president’s appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday with the foreign minister of Sudan, a country whose government is accused of genocide.
Last month in Juba, the capital of the relatively new nation of South Sudan, a small motorcade carrying the U.S. ambassador got entangled with a larger convoy ferrying a senior government official. Frustrated with the delay, a soldier in the South Sudanese convoy got out of his truck, fired two shots into the bulletproof glass of one of the embassy vehicles, and rejoined his own motorcade, which drove away.
So it goes in Juba. Since last December, when an coup allegedly perpetrated against the country’s Dinka president by his Nuer vice president led to Dinka troops going house-to-house in Juba, murdering men, women and children and trucking their bodies out to the bush, a civil war has been underway. The fighting calmed through much of the middle of 2014, but the dry season has arrived. Traditionally in South Sudan, negotiating is for the wet season, and the fighting renews at its conclusion.
The Sudanese woman that was put on death row for refusing to reject Christianity met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, NBC News reports.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) is calling on the Obama administration to send former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to South Sudan to help end mass ethnic violence.