U.S. Sanctions 3 Individuals for Roles in South Sudan Conflict

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The U.S. has slammed sanctions on two South Sudanese citizens and a retired general in the Israeli military for their roles in expanding the conflict in the African nation and undermining peace efforts.

Those sanctioned were Gregory Vasili, a South Sudanese individual; Obac William Olawo, a wealthy South Sudanese businessman and Israel Ziv, a retired Israeli Defence Forces major general.

Ziv was accused of having supplied both the South Sudanese government and the opposition with weapons and ammunition.

Additionally, six entities were designated for allegedly being owned or controlled by two of the aforementioned individuals.

The treasury said in a statement that “the behaviour of each designated person stands in direct opposition to significant U.S. efforts to help those affected by the conflict in South Sudan and establish a lasting peaceful resolution to the current conflict.”

As a result of Friday’s action, any property or interests in property of those designated that is within or transiting U.S. jurisdiction or the possession or control of a U.S. person would be blocked and reported to the Treasury.

Moreover, all transactions by U.S. persons or within or transiting the U.S. that involve any property or interests in property of a designated person would generally be prohibited.

The property includes all property of entities 50 per cent or more owned by one or more designated persons.

While announcing the administration’s new Africa strategy earlier on Thursday, U.S. National Security Adviser, John Bolton said that Washington would “reevaluate its support for UN peacekeeping missions and as well as corruption.

Bolton added that U.S. might cut aid to countries whose governance it does not like, such as South Sudan.

He specifically pointed to South Sudan as a country where aid is not working and conflict is becoming more entrenched.

Similarly, the UN refugee agency on Friday appealed to South Sudan’s warring parties to the conflict to maintain peace to help end five years of displacement.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, reiterated his appeal to all parties to continue pursuing a sustainable and lasting peace to help heal wounds of conflict.

“The people of South Sudan, many of whom have been displaced multiple times in their lives, deserve an end to their suffering,” Grandi said in a statement on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the start of conflict in South Sudan.

“Peace must prevail. The wounds of this conflict will take time to heal, but that process can only be sustained through warring parties engaging in dialogue, finding political solutions and laying down their arms once and for all,” he added.

The world’s youngest nation has remained mired in instability and conflict, which has displaced an estimated four million people, both internally and externally, according to the UN.

“UNHCR stands ready to assist efforts to achieve a genuine and inclusive peace process, including supporting the meaningful and inclusive participation of refugees in any agreement,” Grandi said.

President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a new peace deal in September amid high hopes that this will finally end the years of brutal conflict. 


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