The United States has imposed sanctions on three senior members of the South Sudanese government. The Trump administration’s sanctions were slapped on Information Minister Michael Makuei Leuth, deputy defense chief Malek Reuben and former army chief Paul Malong.
The measure freezes any assets owned by the three individuals under the US jurisdiction as well as barring them from entering the US. Moreover, the sanctions also affect three South Sudanese companies by owned or controlled by Reuben.
The imposed sanctions are in relation to their roles in threatening the peace, security or stability of South Sudan, which is in the fourth year of a bloody civil conflict that has displaced four million people.
According to a statement posted on the US Treasury website by Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence stated that “These actions send a clear message to those enriching themselves at the expense of the South Sudanese people that we will not let them exploit the U.S. financial system to move and hide the proceeds of their corruption and malign behavior.”
The sanctions are in line with recent commitments by the US to forcefully respond to the atrocities ongoing in South Sudan by targeting those who abuse human rights, seek to derail the peace process, and obstruct reconciliation in South Sudan.