But there has been little real action, with the White House seen as dragging its feet after making a strong push for the independence of the world’s youngest nation in 2011.
“I would characterise John Kerry’s view as supporting the State Department’s view in support of a UN-led embargo,” a U S administration official told AFP yesterday.
Foreign Policy magazine reported last week that National Security Advisor Susan Rice was against an arms embargo on South Sudan, putting her at odds with John Kerry and UN envoy Samantha Power.
Susan Rice does not see a benefit to an embargo that would only hit the elected regime of President Salva Kiir and not the rebellion of his former vice president Riek Machar, according to Foreign Policy.
The US official refused to discuss any possible disagreement between the White House and the State Department on the issue.
In the months that followed the start of the conflict in December 2013, US President Barack Obama repeatedly condemned, pressured and threatened sanctions. He also sent Kerry on a peace mission to Juba.
But in recent weeks, rights groups and other experts have accused Washington of standing idly by over a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people.