Juba/New York, May 24, 2017 (SSNA) — The United States and the United Kingdom said South Sudan’s President recent declaration of the unilateral ceasefire is not new, saying Kiir is simply repeating the same promises he previously announced.
United States’ deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Michele Sison, blasted Kiir’s announcement, saying South Sudanese President had told leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) the same promise two months ago. She added that Kiir declared a ceasefire after his forces carried out attacks in many locations.
UK Ambassador to UN Matthew Rycroft also said Kiir’s ceasefire is not convincing.
“I note with skepticism, but not surprise, that on the day the ceasefire was announced, government offensives continued in Yei and attacks by militia groups continue still,” Rycroft told the 15-member Council. He added that Kiir must “prove that these are meaningful commitments, not just convenient timing with the start of the rainy season when fighting is made more difficult.”
The US and Britain also urged other council members to support UN arms embargo on South Sudan. Russia said an arms embargo would not solve anything.
Kiir declared a ceasefire on Monday, ordered the release of political prisoners, and banned rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar from South Sudan. The move was received with mixed messages, with some senior armed opposition figures calling Kiir’s announcement “nonsense.”