UN to Decide on New South Sudan Sanctions Today

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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.

 

Featured image:

UN Members Flags2” by I, Aotearoa. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.