South Sudan said it summoned the U.S. Embassy’s charge d’affaires to protest last week’s declaration of sanctions on three current and former officials in President Salva Kiir’s government accused of destabilizing the war-torn African nation.
The U.S. Treasury on Sept. 6 said it was blacklisting South Sudan’s army deputy chief of staff, Malek Reuben Riak, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth and Paul Malong, an ex-army head dismissed by Kiir in May.
Singling out three government figures and ignoring the armed opposition “sends a wrong signal,” Bak Valentino Akol Wol, under-secretary at the Foreign Ministry, told reporters Monday in the capital, Juba. “It suggests that fairness is not being seen to be done.”
South Sudan erupted into civil war in 2013, just two years after declaring its independence from the north. The ongoing conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead and created a humanitarian crisis as more than 3.5 million people fled their homes.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman said there’d been a meeting with the Foreign Ministry but further details weren’t available.