The events of 15 December 2013 and beyond, which precipitated South Sudan into armed conflict only two and a half years after independence, have drastically changed the prospects for the newest world country.
The conflict is causing immense human suffering, and has led to grave human rights violations. It is estimated that thousands have died and approximately one and a half million people have been displaced. Famine and the prospects of a major humanitarian disaster are looming. Beyond the suffering of the South Sudanese people, this crisis risks affecting a much wider region already prone to instability.
In this context, and as part of wider EU efforts to stop violence and avoid further instability in the region, the European Union announced on the 10th of July that it will impose targeted sanctions against individuals obstructing the South Sudanese peace process.
Two persons responsible for violating the ceasefire agreement were targeted with a travel ban and a freeze of their assets in the European Union. At the same time, an existing arms embargo against South Sudan remains in place. "The European Union is determined to do everything possible to avert further suffering of the people of South Sudan" a declaration on behalf of all 28 Member States stated. "It is now time for the South Sudanese leaders to rise to the challenge and start negotiating in good faith towards a peaceful, equitable and sustainable solution."
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