Sanctioned Israeli general denies role in South Sudan conflict

Major-General Yisrael Ziv reportedly planned to organize attacks by mercenaries on South Sudanese (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

December 17th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Israeli retired Major-General under United States sanctions for alleged role in the ongoing South Sudan conflict including arms sale to the warring parties on Sunday denied any wrongdoing saying he is ready to be investigated.

The US Department of Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on Israel Ziv and three firms he controls, accusing him of using an agricultural consultancy as cover for weapons sales worth $150 million to the Juba government while also arming the opposition.

“He (Ziv) has also reportedly planned to organize attacks by mercenaries on South Sudanese oil fields and infrastructure, in an effort to create a problem that only his company and affiliates could solve,” a Treasury statement said.

However, in an exclusive interview with the Israel’s Army Radio, Ziv said he has never worked in weaponry labeling all the charges put against him by the United States as baseless and untrue.

“We have an amazing agriculture project there … that many communities depend on. Tens of thousands of people are employed through this project and it feeds the South Sudan market. So anyone who claims this project is a cover should come see it,” he said.

The US department also sanctioned two South Sudanese nationals, Obac William Olawo, a businessman and Gregory Vasili, former Governor of Gogrial state.

“This is not the first time the (US) administration has used sanctions to enforce its foreign policy,” Ziv said. “I am approachable … I want to believe in the decency of the administration. And they are welcome to come, to check, to investigate. We will open up everything for them.”

According to a recent study by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researchers, at least 383,000 South Sudanese have died as a result of the war, through combat, starvation, disease or other factors.

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar in September signed a peace deal in Addis Ababa under the pressure of East African governments, UN and Western powers under which a new government will be formed under which Kiir will remain the President and Machar return to his old job as First Vice President.