South Sudan has recalled its ambassador to US as the dispute between Juba and Washington escalates over an arms embargo.
President Salva Kiir's Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny told the Africareview on phone that Juba had recalled Mr Garang Diing Akuong for consultations, especially in response to Washington's arms restrictions to South Sudan.
The South Sudan Foreign Affairs ministry also confirmed the matter, saying the nation was looking for ways to address the situation without hurting Washington-Juba relations.
South Sudan and the US have been embroiled in a diplomatic row this year after Washington pressured the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Juba over its failure to end the war.
The US on Friday announced the ban of arms sale to South Sudan, saying the continuing violence, which has created a humanitarian crisis, showed no signs of ending.
It also says both the government and rebels were heavily spending on military than on peace and development.
“The government and armed opposition, despite signing the December 21 Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities and ongoing efforts by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) to advance peace and despite the suffering of their own people, have continued the use of military force to seek political advantage,” the US Department of State said in a statement posted on its official website.
The US also highlighted the massive displacement of civilians and the killing of aid workers, as well as gross human rights violations and a lack of political will to end the conflict as key motives behind the arms embargo.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) welcomed the US arms ban, saying it would send a strong message to South Sudan leaders that abuses and broken promises would not be tolerated.
The watchdog also said it was time the UN Security Council followed the US example to impose sanctions on South Sudan unless peace was achieved.