EU sanctions 3 people for human rights abuses in South Sudan

The EU has added 3 people to its sanctions on South Sudan, which target people who threaten its peace, security, stability, or political process.  These are unilateral EU listings and not implementations of UN listings. They follow the introduction of new arms restrictions on South Sudan by the US last Friday (see previous blog).

The newly listed people are:

Paul Malong, who was formerly a high-ranking figure in South Sudan’s army (SPLA) and is said to retain a high degree of influence through the SPLA, his control of several militias, and his patronage network.

Michael Makuei Leuth, who has been Minister for Information and Broadcasting since 2013 and is said to have obstructed the political process in South Sudan.

They are both also listed for allegedly being responsible for “serious violations of human rights, including the targeting and killing of civilians and extensive destruction of villages”.

Malek Reuben Riak, who has served as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff and Inspector General of South Sudan’s army since May 2017, and is said to have been responsible for planning and overseeing serious human rights violations, including the systematic destruction of villages and infrastructure, killing and torturing civilians, and the use of sexual violence against children.

See Implementing Regulation 2018/164 implementing Regulation 2015/735 and Implementing Decision 2018/168 implementing Decision 2015/740. UK OFSI Notice here.

US announces arms restrictions on South Sudan

shutterstock_285637022.jpgThe US Department of State has announced that it is implementing arms restrictions on South Sudan due to the country’s “continuing violence that has created one of Africa’s worst humanitarian crises”. As a result, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations will be amended to update the US defence trade policy toward South Sudan by application of a policy of denial (with limited exceptions) on the export of defence articles and services to South Sudan (including all parties involved in the conflict).

The US has encouraged the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the African Union to consider sanctions against those who undermine the peace process in South Sudan. Furthermore, the US is seeking support for a UN Security Council embargo on all arms flows into South Sudan.

EU adds 3 people to South Sudan sanctions list

EU6.jpgThe EU has added 3 people “involved in serious human rights violations” to its South Sudan sanctions list, see: Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/168 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/164. This action was taken in view of the “deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in South Sudan, and considering the lack of commitment by some actors to the ongoing peace process”.

This is the first occasion in which the EU has imposed targeted measures under its South Sudan sanctions regime in addition to those sanctioned by the UN Security Council. EU press release here.

Canada lists 52 foreign nationals under Magnitsky law

Canada3.jpgPursuant to the recently passed Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) (see previous blog here), Canada has imposed targeted sanctions on 52 foreign nationals (including 30 Russians) by enacting the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations. The Regulations were made in response to three different sets of circumstances, namely, “the case of Sergei Magnitsky, and incidents of corruption and gross human rights violations by officials linked to the Maduro regime and by officials in South Sudan”, see here.

The Regulations prohibit any person in Canada, or any Canadian outside of Canada, from dealing, directly or indirectly, with any of the listed foreign nationals.

In response to the measures, Russian authorities have imposed a ban on a number of Canadian public figures from entering Russia (without specifying who has been affected).

US targets South Sudanese government officials

The US has designated 2 South Sudanese government officials and 1 former official for their roles in destabilising South Sudan. The people are Deputy Chief of Defence Force Malek Riak Rengu, 3 of whose companies have also been designated, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Lueth, and former Chief of General Staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army Paul Awan. The details of the listings are here.

In addition, FinCEN has issued an advisory to financial institutions alerting them to their potential exposure to anti-money laundering risks caused by certain South Sudanese senior political figures attempting to move or hide the proceeds of public corruption.

EU conclusions DPRK, S Sudan and Syria sanctions

eu-flag-1-commissionNorth Korea: The Council welcomed the latest round of UN sanctions on N Korea (see previous blog) and says it will consider new restrictive measures.

South Sudan: The Council states that it is ready to impose further autonomous restrictive measures on “any individual who obstructs the peace process, impedes UNMINSS in the performance of its mandate, prevents actors from exercising their humanitarian duties, incites ethnic hatred, or commits atrocities against civilians”.

Syria: The EU’s High Representative, Federica Mogherini, has said the EU intends to impose further restrictive measures targeting Syrian individuals and entities “supporting the regime” for as long as it continues to repress civilians and violate human rights.

US proposes new UN sanctions on South Sudan

The US has circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council, proposing an arms embargo on South Sudan and new targeted sanctions against those responsible for its violent conflict.  UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng recently reported to the Security Council that there was “a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines with a potential for genocide”.

Both Russia and China have voiced opposition to the introduction of an arms embargo, which they believe would be ineffective in view of how many weapons are already in South Sudan, and further targeted sanctions.  In July 2015, the UN Security Council imposed a UN-wide asset freeze and travel ban on 6 rival commanders in South Sudan, and earlier this year extended those sanctions until 31 May 2017 (see previous blog).

EU declaration on South Sudan sanctions

The EU’s High Representative, Federica Mogherini, has issued a declaration on South Sudan following widespread violence in July this year.  The EU has reiterated its call on all parties to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in good faith, and remains ready to impose sanctions on anyone undermining South Sudan’s peace process.  The declaration notes that the EU has long maintained an arms embargo on South Sudan, and supports the UN Security Council’s willingness to consider additional measures, including an arms embargo, should obstruction of the UN’s mission in South Sudan continue.