The United Nations Security Council should apply sanctions to nine leaders in South Sudan, including President Salva Kiir and exiled rebel leader Riek Machar, the Human Rights Watch organization argued in a new report on conflict-related atrocities released Tuesday.
“Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, former army chief of staff Paul Malong, and six other commanders – should face sanctions in view of the mounting evidence of their responsibility for grave violations during the conflict,” the human rights NGO said. “The United Nations Security Council, European Union, and other states should impose sanctions on the nine men, and the Security Council should also impose a long overdue, comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan.”
The additional South Sudanese officials include Lt. Gen. Johnson Juma Okot, the deputy ground forces commander; Lt. Gen. Bol Akot, currently director of the National Police Service; Lt Gen. Marial Nour Jok, the military intelligence chief; Lt. Gen. Attayib Gatluak “Taitai,” Division 5 army commander; Gen. Johnson Olony, an opposition commander, and Maj. Gen. Matthew Puljang, who commanded army forces in 2015 in the Unity region. All are accused of grave human rights violations listed in the report.
Human Rights Watch and others, the group said, have long urged the UN Security Council to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan and additional targeted sanctions. UNSC has placed travel bans and asset freezes on three government and three opposition commanders; The United States and EU also have sanctions in place against six individuals. The EU has a longstanding arms embargo but the African Union (AU) has not imposed one or any additional individual sanctions.
The report also calls on South Sudan to investigate the potential criminal responsibility of the leaders.
Image: UN file photo