Russians Aren’t the Only Ones Being Hit With Sanctions

Obama signed an executive order Thursday paving the way for targeted sanctions against individuals in South Sudan.

Thousands of Southern Sudanese wave the flag of their new country during a ceremony in the capital Juba on July 09, 2011 to celebrate South Sudan's independence from Sudan. South Sudan separated from Sudan to become the world's newest nation. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
Jordain Carney
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Jordain Carney
April 3, 2014, 1:04 p.m.

Crimea? So last month.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Thursday that it will sanc­tion in­di­vidu­als in South Su­dan.

The ex­ec­ut­ive or­der freezes as­sets un­der U.S. jur­is­dic­tion, block­ing Amer­ic­ans from provid­ing fin­an­cial sup­port to — or re­ceiv­ing it from — sanc­tioned in­di­vidu­als. It also blocks sanc­tioned in­di­vidu­als from trav­el­ing to the United States.

“The ex­ec­ut­ive or­der signed by Pres­id­ent Obama today sends a clear mes­sage: Those who threaten the peace, se­cur­ity, or sta­bil­ity of South Su­dan, ob­struct the peace pro­cess, tar­get U.N. peace­keep­ers, or are re­spons­ible for hu­man rights ab­uses and at­ro­cit­ies will not have a friend in the United States and run the risk of sanc­tions,” the White House said in a state­ment.

Al­though the ex­ec­ut­ive or­der doesn’t spe­cify who will be sanc­tioned, it al­lows State and Treas­ury de­part­ment of­fi­cials to identi­fy in­di­vidu­als who are re­spons­ible for threat­en­ing the peace, se­cur­ity, or sta­bil­ity of South Su­dan; un­der­min­ing demo­crat­ic in­sti­tu­tions; spread­ing con­flict; ob­struct­ing peace talks; re­cruit­ing child sol­diers to fight in the coun­try’s con­flicts; or en­ga­ging in a wide ar­ray of vi­ol­ence.

The young coun­try — which sep­ar­ated from Su­dan in 2011 — has seen in­creased vi­ol­ence since South Su­dan Pres­id­ent Salva Kiir dis­missed Riek Machar from his gov­ern­ment in Ju­ly. Kiir said late last year that sup­port­ers of Machar at­temp­ted a coup. Shortly there­after the United States ordered all none­mer­gency per­son­nel out of South Su­dan and tem­por­ar­ily closed its em­bassy.

In a let­ter to Con­gress, Obama said that he is “de­clar­ing a na­tion­al emer­gency with re­spect to the un­usu­al and ex­traordin­ary threat to the na­tion­al se­cur­ity and for­eign policy of the United States posed by the situ­ation in and in re­la­tion to South Su­dan,” adding that “the or­der does not tar­get the coun­try of South Su­dan” but spe­cif­ic in­di­vidu­als.

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