U.S. Arms Embargo on South Sudan in Context

Posted: February 5, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Kur John Aleu

By Kur John Aleu, Beijing, China

us charge de affairs, Michael Morrow

US charge de affairs, Michael Morrow


February 5, 2018 (SSB) — The recently imposed restrictions on the sale of arms by the Department of State to South Sudan is something its rationale is questionable from the perspective of an independent citizen, but for the proponents, it is a victory, a hard slap on government’s face and a proof of their (rebels) strong diplomacy, to the opponents it is a validation of the hidden U.S. hand in the conflict.

This piece, however, is not meant to dismiss or validate any of the antagonists’ viewpoint, but rather to explore and present views that will justify the independent opinion of why the rationality is in question.

First and foremost, the government of South Sudan does not buy arms from the U.S.; many documented reports regarding arms flow to South Sudan point figures toward, Ukraine, China and other Eastern countries, this fact makes the restrictions invalid and leaves people wondering if the U.S. is eyeing something that is yet to be known or was it just giving false hope to the masses?

The second and final guess is whether the U.S. might have been trying other avenues behind the scene to pressure the government but bear no fruition; as a matter of fact, U.S. has a lot of leverages to use especially for the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia so that they collectively could pressure South Sudan government to accept genuine peace without even a threat of sanction or arms embargo and the government would come to its knees. But why has the U.S failed/refused to use neighboring countries to pressure the government?

Well, this could be a strategic plan by the U.S. to deal with the future South Sudan leadership in the event that this current government succumbs to its failures and die a natural death;  the current arms embargo and possibly the future sanctions are tactical means designed as bargaining chip to securing future U.S. interests at ease as the government of that time would be desperately willing to concede anything (even if it means subscribing to upholding rights of gay marriage or giving a huge chunk of land to U.S. investors without proper rule of engagement) in exchange of  lifting sanctions and arms embargo.

The whole game is a trap for the country, it is not about the current regime, and by the way, even if it was a U.N. Security Council resolution, the government would still get arms from arms dealers and still sustain the war, in this world anything can be accessed through back-channel as long as there is money. Any effort aimed at attaining peace in South Sudan must not ignore the elements of political willing and genuine engagement of all the warring parties, anything short of that is a fallacy.

Those who are knowledgeable about geopolitics and have come across such case studies will acknowledge the glimpse of truth in this narrative, however, for the frustrated and uninformed, it will be regarded as delusional and misguided piece but my dear compatriots this nation is bigger than any of the current politicians of the day, at one point in time they will all go but any mistake made during this situation of personalized hatred will affect the future generation of this very country badly.

I am therefore asking the proponents to celebrate cautiously and find time as well to update themselves about how sanctions and relief aids have been used as neo-colonial tools.

The author, Kur John Aleu, is Student of Transportation Engineering in Beijing Jiaotong University; holds B.Sc. In Civil Engineering from Ndejje University (2012). Reach me at kurjohnaleu@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.




  1. Amule Charles says:

    It’s important for readers to know some basic facts behind what happened in Juba. The absolute vast majority of ‘protestors’ were actually Dinka soldiers in plain clothes, trucked in by the government to ‘protest’ about the US arms embargo. The Dinka government are worried about losing access to weapons to continue their war against the rebels (although they are not worried at all about the total collapse of the country’s economy or the millions now facing famine as the country enters the long dry season). This in itself is strange given that the Dinka regime gets its weapons on the black market in mainly Eastern Europe, as anyone can witness at Juba airport when the Moldovan and Armenian aircraft (an IL76 and an AN30 respectively) land and unload their crates. The soldiers yesterday were on a racist rampage, targeting any white person they could find – totally ignorant to the fact that it is the ‘White’ countries (US, UK, EU) who are keeping the people of South Sudan alive. The Dinkas in Juba are an armed occupation force, despised by the residents. The same would apply to the Nuers in the SPLM-IO if they ever got to power, by the way – both are as bad as each other. If South Sudan is to have a future then the UN must take over and run the country as a protectorate. The current crop of leaders (SPLM and SPLM-IO) are so obscenely unfit to govern that, with them in place, the country will never rise above being Africa’s most corrupt and disastrous entity.


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