U.S. weighs targeted sanctions against South Sudan – sources

Displaced people walk past razor wire at Tomping camp, where some 15,000 displaced people who fled their homes are sheltered by the United Nations, near Juba January 7, 2014. REUTERS/James Akena

Displaced people walk past razor wire at Tomping camp, where some 15,000 displaced people who fled their homes are sheltered by the United Nations, near Juba January 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/James Akena

(Reuters) – The United States is weighing targeted sanctions against South Sudan due to the failure of leaders in the world’s youngest nation to take steps to end a crisis that has brought the country to the brink of civil war, sources briefed on U.S. discussions told Reuters.

“It’s a tool that has been discussed,” a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity about the possibility of U.S. sanctions against those blocking peace efforts or fueling violence in South Sudan. Another source confirmed the remarks, though both declined to provide details on the precise measures under consideration.

No decisions have been made yet, the sources added. Targeted sanctions focus on specific individuals, entities or sectors of country.

The U.S. government was unlikely to consider steps intended to economically harm impoverished South Sudan but would likely focus on any measures on those individuals or groups it sees as blocking efforts at brokering peace or committing atrocities.

Traditionally U.S. sanctions against individuals or groups involve a ban on travel to the United States and freezing of their assets in U.S. banks.

[Read more]