UN to Decide on New South Sudan Sanctions Today
UN diplomats have announced they will decide today whether to impose sanctions on a South Sudan army chief and for army general, turned rebel, for “continuing to fuel conflict in the world’s newest nation.”
Sanctions have been proposed by the United States against Gen. Paul Malong and ex-general Johnson Olony, which would freeze the assets of each individual and place an arms embargo on the pair.
Prolonged violence in South Sudan
Civil war broke out in oil-rich South Sudan in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former Vice-President, Riek Machar, of plotting to overthrow him. Cease-fires and peace deals have so far failed to end the violence with fresh attacks following a peace deal agreed last month.
Gen. Paul Malong was appointed as the chief of general staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in April 2014. Meanwhile ex-general Johnson Olony defected to the rebels after reports that his deputy was killed in an ‘unexplained assassination‘ by government soldiers.
The same reports claim President Kiir and other key officials blame Gen. Malong for Olony’s desertion, leading to ‘dirty infighting’ among top government officials. While Olony is quoted as telling President Kiir that invitations for resolution talks “smell like Malong’s suitcase,” singling out the current chief of general staff.
Further sanctions proposed
UN diplomats will now have to decide whether to add Olony and Malong to the list of sanctions against senior generals on either side of the South Sudan conflict. The council imposed sanctions on six general on July 1 for prolonging the conflict – three form each side – which has killed thousands and added millions to a growing refugee crisis.
The 15-member council has until 1900 GMT on Tuesday to oppose sanctions against Olony and Malong, whose names will be added immediately to the list if no objections are voiced.