Trump administration has intensified its sanctions against the Juba regime, on Wednesday in unexpected movement, the US Treasury Department slapped financial and assets freezing sanctions on South Sudan's first vice president Taban Deng Gai.
The Trump administration accused Taban Deng Gai of ordering the deaths of two opposition leaders, Human rights lawyer Samuel Dong Luak and Aggrey Ezbon Idris.
Taban Deng Gai, according to the sanctions, he also has created distrust that has inflamed conflict in South Sudan and undermined the peace process.
According to the US Treasury Department, Deng reportedly arranged and directed the disappearance and deaths of human rights lawyer Samuel Dong Luak, and Aggrey Ezbon Idris who was also high member of SPLA-IO, Treasury Department's statement further said, Taban Gai did this to solidify his position within President Kiir's government and to intimidate members of the SPLM-IO into submission.
"Taban Deng Gai's attempt to silence the opposition party is derailing the country's ability to implement a peace agreement," Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich said in a statement.
"The United States calls on all nations to exclude from the international financial system those who jeopardize South Sudan's future."
Treasury sanctions freeze any cash or assets held in US territory and block access to the American financial system, which also typically impedes the use of international banks that do business in the United States.
Treasury Department in December 2019, imposed sanctions on five other South Sudanese individuals responsible for the "extrajudicial killings."
Washington last month also slapped sanctions on Martin Elia Lomoro, South Sudan cabinet minister and Kuol Manyang Juuk the country's defense minister, accusing them of obstructing peace agreement signed in neighboring Sudan in 2018.
South Sudanese political analyst Taban welcomed the imposition of sanctions on Taban Deng Gai, he said Trump administration is finally doing the right thing and he said US government should have done this long time, nevertheless, he said this will send strong signal to President Kiir that perhaps he will be the next and final person to be sanctioned.