South Sudan said Wednesday the U.S. targeted sanctions against its government officials will not derail the government's drive to achieve peace in the country.
Government spokesman Michael Makuei told Xinhua in Juba that the government is committed to ushering in peace despite threats from Washington to sanction President Salva Kiir's senior officials.
His remarks come as the UN Security Council is due to vote on Thursday to impose sanctions on senior government officials including former army chief.
The proposed measures include freezing of assets and travel ban for the six officials on both sides of the conflict for obstructing peace efforts in South Sudan.
"Yes, we know that our people are suffering but we are working collectively to build peace. Peace building is just like building a house, you keep on bringing something every day until you come up with final building," he said, dismissing sanctions as political.
South Sudan's conflict has now entered its fifth year. The conflict erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.