February 2, 2018, European Union on Friday slapped sanctions on three current and former South Sudanese officials in President Salva Kiir’s government for alleged role in serious human rights violations and obstructions of the political process.
South Sudan’s former military chief Paul Malong, former deputy chief of staff Malek Reuben Riak and Information Michael Makuei Lueth will now be subject to sanctions by all EU member states, effective immediately.
In September 2017, The Trump administration also slapped sanctions on the three men for their alleged roles in destabilizing South Sudan and enriching themselves through corruption.
Malong, Reuben and Makuei were also targeted for sanctions by Canada in November last year.
EU’s action today comes ahead of the start of new peace talks hosted by Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on 5 February. These talks aim to restart the peace process following the repeated breaches of the cessation of hostilities agreed between South Sudanese government and opposition forces in December 2017.
Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said it is more vital than ever that those undermining the peace process recognise the price of their actions.
“The UK has played a leading role in pushing for these sanctions at an EU level and it is right that we are taking tough action against those who continue to act against the interests of the South Sudanese people,” said Baldwin.
“We remain committed to supporting the peace process and urge South Sudan’s leaders to participate in good faith to agree a political solution and end the suffering of their people.”
The United States today also stopped the export of weapons and defense services to South Sudan, saying it is appalled by the continuing violence in the youngest nation that has created one of Africa’s worst humanitarian crises.
Government officials in Juba could not be immediately reached for comment.