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US sanctions on first vice-president Taban long overdue – rights group

President Salva Kiir, caught on camera pointing hand aggressively at FVP Taban Deng Taban Gai in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

January 9th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – United States sanctions imposed on South Sudan’s first vice president Taban Deng Gai are long overdue, a civil society organization based in Uganda said in a statement on Thursday.

The United States department of treasury on Wednesday imposed sweeping sanctions on South Sudan’s first vice president Deng over gross human rights abuses and role in divisive activities which has prolonged the ongoing civil war.

“The sanctions on First Vice President Gen. Taban Deng Gai are long overdue. It has come in the right time with the right person in the right place. Taban will not face the music alone because more sanctions are coming to those jeopardy peace in the country,” the Centre for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), a rights group based in Uganda, said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia on Thursday.

“The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) call on United States to keep sanctions on political leaders who jeopardy the stability and peace in South Sudan.  There is a peace agreement but no real peace in South Sudan,” the statement added.

The statement accused the first vice president of committing “serious human rights violations these include; killings, rape, sexual assault, intimidation of human rights defenders in East Africa region, political leaders both interior and exterior, torture, arbitrary arrest, property destruction and force displacement of South Sudanese citizens due to war of 2016 in Juba.”

The advocacy group’s National Coordinator, Ter Manyang Gatwech, urged the AU commission to take necessary steps and “establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan in order to investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for the violation of international and national laws as of December 15, 2013 to the end the transitional period in South Sudan.”

“We encourage correspondent banks and financial regulators to take targeted measures against banks, institutions and account holders linked to persons responsible for violence against civilians in South Sudan,” the statement said.

It further encouraged the United State to “use its leverage over Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan to ensure regional enforcement of existing sanctions which are necessary to influence the calculations of the South Sudanese leadership to avert violence and secure peace in South Sudan.”

“To augment this, we will work with influencers in the region who can utilize informal channels to persuade the political leaders in the region to leverage the political influence they have over the elite of South Sudan to honor the ceasefire.”

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