National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula has called for the removal of sanctions imposed on South Sudan by international bodies dismissing them as retrogressive and unjustified.
Wetang'ula argued that the sanctions have not only hindered South Sudan's ability to recover but also development which has consequently affected its stability and integration.
“Sanctions have inflicted severe repercussions on South Sudan's economy and its people. Instead of alleviating their challenges, these measures have exacerbated existing problems, impeding the growth of the youngest African nation,” said Speaker Wetangula.
“South Sudan, being the newest State in the region, deserves support and not the unwarranted sanctions," he added.
Wetang'ula was speaking during the dinner hosted by South Sudanese Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba on the last day of the East African Community (EAC) Speakers' Bureau in Juba.
South Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister, Barnaba Marial, expressed concern over the sanctions' impact on efforts to move forward and called for support to have them lifted.
In May, the United Nations Security Council extended for one year the sanctions imposed on South Sudan, including assets freeze, travel bans and an arms embargo, with numerous members stressing that instead of sanctions, the country needs a carefully managed support system to facilitate its transitional journey and overcome security issues.
Wetang'ula assured that Kenya will help South Sudan shake off the sanctions.
“South Sudan should bank on Kenya’s support as a big brother on this drive to have the sanctions lifted," he said.
Speaker Nunu told the meeting that South Sudan under the stewardship of President Silva Kir had made tremendous progress in ensuring peace and stability.
"South Sudan is now a peaceful country. The hosting of the EAC Speakers' Bureau meeting is an indication of peace and stability," said Nunu.