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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