EU threatens South Sudan with sanctions over looming genocide

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The European Union has issued fresh warning, saying it is ready to impose punitive measures against anyone standing in the way of peace in South Sudan.

In a statement, EU foreign ministers say they are disturbed by ongoing situation in the war-torn young nation and prepared to impose sanctions against those who obstruct the peace process, incite hatred, or prevent United Nations organizations from doing their work.

“The EU is profoundly disturbed by developments in South Sudan. There is now a last chance for political and military leaders to avoid the resumption of war, to spare their people further suffering and to find a just and inclusive political settlement of their differences. The EU calls on all parties to lay down their arms and to take decisive steps to end violence,” EU says in the statement.

EU expresses concern over the intensity of the ongoing war between South Sudan’s warring factions and warned that South Sudan is at of “complete fragmentation.”

“Fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition and armed groups is increasing in scope and intensity; South Sudan is at risk of complete fragmentation,” the statement reads in part.

“All parties must be brought into an inclusive political process, based on the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict. The Transitional Government of National Unity must implement, in full and immediately, the commitments made in the Joint Communiqué issued with the UN Security Council on 4 September 2016,” the statement further explained.

The European Union also stated that military solution is not possible in South Sudan and calls on all parties to the conflict to fully observe the ceasefire and reject any ‘speech inciting ethnic hatred’.

The UN has recently warned of a “looming genocide” and a United Nations commission tasked to investigate reports of ethnically targeted killings concluded that “ethnic cleaning” is underway in South Sudan and that it is already taking place in some parts of the country.