South Sudan President Salva Kiir may consider firing government officials who have been sanctioned by the United States for allegedly undermining peace and stability in the country, according to a South Sudanese observer.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury last week imposed sanctions on Gen. Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, the army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of military procurement; and Michael Makuei Lueth, South Sudan’s information minister. In addition, sanctions were placed on Paul Malong Awan, the former army chief.

James Okuk, a political science lecturer at the University of Juba, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the current government would definitely face challenges if it decided to maintain officials blacklisted by the United States.

“For the government to improve its relations with the United States, it may consider removing the officials who have been sanctioned, so this could also be one of the consequences of the US sanctions,” said Okuk.

“Maybe the president will not allow the country to collapse because of two or three officials, he may ask those officials to go home in order to improve his relations with the United States,” he added.

South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013, only two years after independence when differences occurred between top leaders of the ruling SPLM party.