The South Sudan Government has condemned a recent decision by U.S. which laied sanction on 15 oil companies including two crucial government agencies, the action which the government claimed was a plot to fasten regime change and collapse the country’s President, Salva Kiir, government presidency.
Through Minister of Information, Makuei Lueth, the government informed newsmen in Juba on Friday that the imposition of sanctions during midweek by the U.S. State Department on the country’s oil operators showed Washington was motivated by regime change through cutting off the oil revenue which is key lifeline for survival of the world’s youngest nation.
According to its, the action is continuation of the same policy of regime change. The American government has been clear that current
leaders of South Sudan cannot continue,” Lueth said, referring to earlier remarks by U.S. diplomat Nikki Haley that President Kiir is “unfit partner.”
The sanctions were imposed on the state-owned Nile Petroleum Company, Dar Petroleum Operating Company(DPOC), Malaysia’s Petronas, Nigerian consortium Oranto Petroleum and other listed local companies barredfrom trading and dealing with U.S. based companies.
Oranto oil made entrance into South Sudan, Africa’s third largest oil producer last year to explore blocks in thenorthern Jonglei area.
“They are steps being taken so that the government can collapse and the rebels can take over.
“If they can sanction ministries of petroleum, mining and Nilepet so that the government collapses
within a short time,” he disclosed.
South Sudan depends 98 per cent on oil to finance its annual fiscal budget which has been hugely disrupted byover four years of conflict with production in the northern oil fields declining to less than 160,000
barrels a day.
The ministry of petroleum had earlier on projected to increase oil output to over 260,000 bpd as the completion of the Tharjiath oil refinery nears in Bentiu to help shore up the hugely battered economy amid hyperinflation.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his former deputy Riek Machar leading to fighting between mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir and ethnic Nuer soldiers loyal to Machar.
The violence has killed tens of thousands, leaving two million people displaced and two million others living as refugees in neighboring countries.
The efforts by regional leaders to revive the 2015 peace agreement shattered in the wake of renewed violence in July 2016 are yet to bear fruit as they have been indefinitely suspended after the warring parties failed to make headway.