Government says America is not a ‘partner’ after arms embargo

Taban Deng Gai

South Sudan’s government blasted Sunday the U.S. after President Donald Trump imposed an arms embargo against Juba last week, saying America was not its partner.

The United States banned the export of weapons and defense services to South Sudan in a reflection of its growing frustration over the newest nation’s bitter conflict.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said recently Washington is giving up on President Kiir after investing over $11 billion since the country’s independence in 2011, calling him “an unfit partner” in the pursuit of peace.

“It is the Chinese who will build the roads in South Sudan, not Americans because they are not our partners in our economy. The partners are Chinese and the other potential partners are Russians, they are building a refinery, the first refinery in South Sudan. So these are the people who have been defending us,” said Taban Deng Gai, South Sudan’s First Vice President, on Sunday. “During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

The second top South Sudanese official said the government will not collapse because of the U.S. sanctions. “Our friends are there. America wanted to impose this arms embargo through the United Nations, but it is because Russia has refused; it is because China has refused. The little dollars we have in South Sudan today it is because of oil. Our partners in oil are Chinese,” he said.

Gai said South Sudan government will lodge a complaint against the United States to Russia and China in protest against the arms embargo.

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