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US imposes sanctions on South Sudan vice president

 

The United States has released a statement confirming that they will be imposing sanctions on Taban Teng Gai, South Sudan's first vice president, over allegations that Gai was involved in the killing of opposition politicians and strengthen his political standing.

South Sudan’s treasury claims that Gai had organised the assassination of Aggrey Idri Ezibon, an opposition politician, and Dong Samuel Luak, a human rights lawyer. A spokesman for South Sudan’s president, Ateny Wek Ateny, has denied these claims maintaining that there is no evidence.

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, has called upon the government and opposition to distance themselves from those who may disturb peace negotiations. He further described Gai as having acted to "divide and sow distrust, extend the conflict in South Sudan, and impede the reconciliation and peace process".

In 2011 South Sudan claimed independence however it found itself caught in a civil war in 2013 which has killed close to 400,000 people and forced millions into exile.

Read Reuter's reporting here.