South Sudan makes plea against 'undeserved' UN sanctions

South Sudan's vice president has urged the United Nations not to impose "undeserved" sanctions against leaders working to implement a peace deal to end 21 months of war.

AFP| Updated: Oct 02, 2015, 06:13 AM IST

United Nations: South Sudan's vice president has urged the United Nations not to impose "undeserved" sanctions against leaders working to implement a peace deal to end 21 months of war.

A peace accord was signed in August between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, but fighting has continued in certain parts of the country, which broke away from Sudan in 2011.

South Sudan's Vice President James Wani Igga told the UN General Assembly yesterday that his country faced a future "full of hope," especially if promises of financial and humanitarian aid are delivered.

"But it should not be subjected to undeserved isolation and sanctions, given its level of fragility as a new country," he added.

The UN Security Council in July imposed a global travel ban and assets freeze on six commanders -- three from the government forces and three from the rebels -- the first South Sudanese to be put on the UN's blacklist.

Last month, the United States sought sanctions on the army chief and a rebel commander, but the move was blocked by Angola, Russia, China and Venezuela.

The world's youngest nation, South Sudan descended into bloodshed in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of planning a coup, unleashing a wave of killings that has split the country along ethnic lines.

The violence has killed tens of thousands of people and driven more than 2.2 million from their homes.

In his address to the world body, the vice president declared that "this regrettable war and uncalled-for bloodshed has been ended" with the signing of the August 26 peace accord.

However, he urged the eight-nation IGAD regional grouping to deploy ceasefire monitors in regions where fighting had not stopped to help the peace take hold.

"As we embark on the implementation of the peace agreement, sanctions and travel restrictions on our officials should no longer be the option," said the vice president.

Wani Igga was dispatched to New York to attend the General Assembly after Kiir complained that he had been summoned like a "schoolboy" to attend a UN special meeting.

At that meeting held Tuesday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged South Sudan not to "betray and disappoint" the international community supporting the latest peace deal.