Washington, DC, January 25, 2016 (SSNA) — Government and opposition leaders, including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, have “command and control” responsibility for the majority of mass atrocities and human rights violations in South Sudan’s war, according to a UN Security Council Panel of Experts (PoE) report, published today.
John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said, “It is critical that the Experts Group established command and control responsibility for mass atrocities all the way to the very top of both the government and rebel militaries. The onus is on the UN Security Council to act on that evidence by holding accountable those leaders on both sides responsible for mass atrocities. Without accountability, the current peace process is doomed to implode under the weight of impunity for both human rights abuses and mass corruption.”
Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Key individuals in this Panel of Expert report have been named as being behind a deliberate continuation of the war in South Sudan. It has long been our position that a few elite politicians in South Sudan have seized control of government for their personal economic gain. When competing factions among the elite wanted a bigger share of the spoils of state, they pushed the country into war. Some of these top-level politicians oppose the end of the war because they are profiting from it. The Enough Project welcomes the identification of these individuals. This report opens the path forjustice, and an end to impunity. Now that these individuals have been exposed, the U.S, other governments, and organizations such as the UN, must use the tools at their disposal to hold these individuals accountable."
J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "The report highlights several cases in which asset freezes and travel bans imposed on high-level South Sudanese officials directly responsible for abuses have been blatantly violated. Moving forward, the international community — and especially countries in the region — must take steps to ensure that the current UN sanctions are adequately enforced."
Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, added: “The peace deal faces existential threats from the war profiteers among the elite. We have seen the deliberate enactment of policies, such as the creation of new states that violate the stipulations of the deal. The ceasefire has been violated so many times by both sides in the conflict. Unless conflict no longer holds any economic value for the war profiteers among the elite, South Sudan will not enjoy peace. That’s why it is important to hold those responsible for the war to account for their actions.”
More analysis by the Enough Project:
- Real accountability means enacting specific sanctions on these individuals, with the ultimate aim of limiting their ability to move assets and ill-gotten wealth in the global financial system. In the U.S, several tools exist, ranging from legislation to presidential orders that would empower government to seize assets, limit the potential of these individuals to seek support from regional governments, and disrupt the economic activities of these individuals so that they don’t profit from war.
- For the UN Security Council, the time is ripe to enforce targeted sanctions on these individuals. The report depicts a gloomy forecast for South Sudan, pointing out that conflict may endure. To stop war in South Sudan, now is the time for the Security Council to enforce an arms embargo and sanctions on individuals and other entities involved in arms trading with South Sudan.
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About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org
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