The United States has “a lot at stake” in South Sudan and if the new African country disintegrates and unravels, many people around the world will hold Washington responsible, a political commentator in Detroit says.
The US Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two people on opposing sides of the ethnic violence in South Sudan, indicating to the growing frustration in Washington with leaders in an African country it helped create.
Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, following fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his sacked deputy, Riek Machar.
The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and the defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group. Thousands of people have so far been killed and more than one million displaced in the war.
“I think the United States has a lot of stake vis-à-vis its relationship with Africa in regard to how the situation in South Sudan turns out,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.
“If the entire South Sudan society and political system disintegrates, this will represent a tremendous failure of United States foreign policy in Africa. So this is the reason why they are threatening the government of President Salva Kiir,” Azikiwe told Press TV on Tuesday.
“Many people within the international community will be looking at the United States and holding them responsible for this fighting as well as the disintegration of the South Sudanese society,” he added.
Mass killings in South Sudan, which appear to be ethnically motivated, have sparked international condemnation. UN sources say despite a January ceasefire, government and opposition forces are still engaged in heavy fighting in several areas including Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states.