Advocacy group welcomes latest sanctions against South Sudan

IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Israel Ziv speaks to the Kan public broadcaster in March 2016 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

December 16th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The US-based advocacy group, the Sentry, has welcomed a decision by the United States government to sanction three individuals for their alleged arms role in the ongoing South Sudan conflict.

United States government on Friday imposed targeted sanctions against three individuals two South Sudanese and a retired Israeli Major General for allegedly taking a role in managing arm sales to warring South Sudanese parties.

The sanctioned individuals are Gregory Vasili, former governor of Gogrial state, Obaj William Olawo a renowned South Sudanese businessman. The other is a retired Israeli Major General identified as Israel Ziv.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Founding Director of the Enough Project and the co-founder of the Sentry, John Prendegast, welcomed the latest American move against peace violators in South Sudan.

“This is exactly the way leverage should be built to support peace and fight corruption in Africa. Network sanctions, like the ones imposed by the U.S. government, begin to get at the system of grand corruption that fuels extreme violence in South Sudan that actually makes war profitable,” he said.

For his part, the Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, Joshua White said it it a great step in dealing with financial facilitators and other looting machines in South Sudan who he said will face consequences as results of their actions.

“This action shows a clear understanding of how targeting the financial facilitators and commercial enablers who sustain the looting machine in South Sudan can directly bring meaningful consequences not only to the sanctioned individuals but their businesses as well,” he said.

The Director of Investigations at The Sentry, J.R. Mailey, further blamed the two South Sudanese sanctioned along the Israeli retired General for stoking violence and embezzled public money saying they won’t get away with the crimes.

“Gregory Vasili has stoked violence and embezzled money meant to feed starving South Sudanese. Obac William Olawo profited from a horrific war. This action means they won’t get away with it,” he said.

The Sentry is composed of financial forensic investigators, policy analysts, and regional experts who follow the dirty money and build investigative cases focusing on the corrupt transnational networks most responsible for Africa’s deadliest conflicts.