May 27, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – A human rights firm based in the United States has accused former South Sudan army chiefs of staff of human rights violations during the seven-year-old conflict which ended in February this year.
Among four South Sudan army chiefs, Gen. Paul Malong Awan and General Gabriel Jok Riak were directly involved in extra-judicial killings while two others, Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak, Gen. James Hoth Mai were involved in corruption along with Malong and Jok Riak.
“South Sudan’s last four army chiefs of staff, four high-ranking military leaders, and three opposition militia leaders have engaged in business activities indicative of money laundering and corruption,” The Sentry said in a report titled “Making a Killing.”
“Many of these men share personal or commercial ties with President Salva Kiir, who regularly intervenes in legal proceedings targeting his staunchest friends and allies. All but two have led troops who committed grave human rights violations, starting with the December 2013 mass atrocities in Juba that launched a long and bloody civil war,” the report said.
“Except for Hoth Mai and Ajak, these men have committed egregious human rights violations with near total impunity since the country’s independence, according to the United Nations and the African Union.
“Each of these military figures has corporate holdings in South Sudan with possible conflicts of interest, connections to the international financial system, or indicators of corruption and money laundering.
“Most secured top government posts after commanding troops who committed major abuses, and some have been shareholders in corporations publicly linked to corruption scandals. General Johnson Juma Okot replaced Jok Riak as chief of staff on May 11, 2020. Okot has also led troops who committed mass violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based crimes.
“In addition, he has reportedly been involved in various corruption schemes, such as misappropriating money intended to fund food rations for his troops, leaving them to loot as a means to sustain themselves.”