UN calls for South Sudan’s rival leaders to be blacklisted; urges arms embargo

New York/Juba, January 25, 2016 (SSNA) — A new report due to be released at any day by the United Nations (UN) panel of experts tasked to investigate South Sudan’s civil war and report its findings to the UN Security Council has recommend that South Sudanese President Salva kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar should be blacklisted and that an arms embargo be placed on the young nation.

In the leaked confidential report seen by the Reuters News Agency, the experts say their investigation uncovers direct links between people who committed crimes on both sides of the conflict and that high-ranking officials of Kiir’s government and Machar’s SPLM/A-IO knew exactly the crimes were being committed.

“There is clear and convincing evidence that most of the acts of violence committed during the war, including the targeting of civilians … have been directed by or undertaken with the knowledge of senior individuals at the highest levels of the Government and within the opposition,” the report reads in part.

The panel, which has released numerous reports in the past, admitted that South Sudan’s opposing leaders are still in complete control of their armed forces.

The report also asserts that UN’s peacekeepers are "regularly attacked, harassed, detained, intimidated and threatened.” However, the report did not specify who attacked UN soldiers.

In the report, the UN details how South Sudanese government purchased four Mi-24 attack helicopters in 2014 from an unnamed Ukrainian company, adding that Kiir’s government paid at least $43 million for the airplanes. The panel of experts further added that after the acquisition of attack helicopters, some government officials opt for a military solution, thinking that airplanes will give Juba greater capacity to expand the war and ultimately eliminate the rebellion.

“They [helicopters] have been vital in providing an important advantage in military operations, have facilitated the expansion of the war and have emboldened those in the Government who are seeking a military solution to the conflict at the expense of the peace process,” the report disclosed.

The latest report, diplomats and experts believe, will place Kiir and Machar on sanction list. If the report is approved by the 15-member UN Security Council, the two leaders will then be banned from traveling and asset freezes will also be enacted.

Kiir and Machar failed to form a transitional government by 22nd of January 2016 dateline proposed by the IGAD-Plus.

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