South Sudan recalled its ambassador to the United States to protest sanctions on two senior officials accused of hampering the peace implementation process.

“Ambassador Philip Jada Natana is recalled to Juba by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for consultations to protest the sanctions the U.S slapped on our two Ministers,” a senior diplomat told Sudan Tribune under the cover of anonymity.

On Monday 16 December, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed targeted sanctions on Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro and Minister of Defence Kuol Manyang Juuk. Both were igniting the five-year conflict and obstructing the end of the conflict.

Immediately after the announcement the Secretary of State Pompeo issued a statement saying that “The United States stands ready to impose other measures against any who seek to expand the conflict and derail peace efforts in South Sudan”.

Natana left Washington on Wednesday, December 18 heading to South Sudan.

“Juba concluded that the Trump administration has no respect for South Sudan leaders and the sanctions are insults to the dignity of the people of South Sudan,” stressed the senior diplomat.

Before the recent sanctions on the two ministers, Juba has been frustrated by Washington decision to review its relations with South Sudan.

On 25 November, the State Department recalled Ambassador Thomas Hushek for consultations saying the measure was “part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan”.

The decision intervened after the failure of President Salva Kiir and his main peace partner Riek Machar to form a transitional national unity government over two sticky issues the security arrangements and the boundaries and number of states in South Sudan.