Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two individuals pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13664 for expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan including by obstructing the reconciliation process or peace talks. Treasury will not hesitate to target those who have perpetuated the conflict in South Sudan and will continue to apply pressure on the senior leadership of South Sudan to take concrete measures to bring peace and stability to the country.
“The United States stands by the people of South Sudan who continue to suffer under this political instability that has led to thousands of deaths. The South Sudanese deserve leaders who are committed to laying the groundwork for a successful, peaceful political transition,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin Muzinich.
The designations of Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro and Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk are intended to target senior leaders in South Sudan that have perpetuated the conflict for their own personal enrichment, leading to much suffering for the South Sudanese people.
In September 2018, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar reached a revitalized peace agreement that called for the formation of a national unity government on May 12, 2019. Government and opposition leaders have extended that deadline twice, most recently on November 7, 2019, and have twice failed to make any progress towards a unity government or adequate implementation of the peace agreement. A little over 30 days into the extended pre-transition period, the United States has yet to see concrete steps by the GoSS to create the political and security conditions conducive to formation of a unity government and adequate implementation of the peace deal. Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro has been responsible for actively recruiting and organizing local militias to conduct attacks against opposition forces in South Sudan; and, Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk has failed to remove military forces from the battlefield as agreed, fomented violence with rival tribes, and oversaw the training of tribal militias to prepare for the possibility of renewed violence. These ministers perpetuated the conflict to cement the political status quo, fueling South Sudan’s war economy.
U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. The removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under E.O. 13664 who take concrete and meaningful actions to form a unity government in line with the agreed-upon terms of the peace agreement, refuse to take part in human rights violations or abuse, speak out against abuses committed by both the government and opposition, and combat corruption in and related to South Sudan.
MARTIN ELIA LOMURO
Martin Elia Lomuro (Lomuro), along with Michael Makuei Lueth, whom OFAC sanctioned in September 2017, were reportedly instrumental to Kiir’s initial unwillingness to sign a peace agreement in August 2015. In late 2016, Lomuro stated that the GoSS would never allow the arrival of additional peacekeepers, which it had initially promised to accept, planning to negotiate the specifics of the deployment once the issue was dropped. Lomuro, along with Kuol Manyang Juuk, has been identified as a key minister opposing the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, which the parties committed to establish to investigate and try those responsible for war crimes and other serious crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence, since December 2013. As of late 2019, Lomuro and another South Sudanese government official were reportedly responsible for actively recruiting and organizing local militias used to conduct attacks against opposition forces in South Sudan.
Lomuro is being designated for being responsible for or complicit in or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan or obstructing reconciliation or peace talks or processes.
KUOL MANYANG JUUK
In 2017, a group of senior South Sudanese officials led by Kuol Manyang Juuk (Juuk) decided to use Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) troops, artillery, and other heavy weapons to strengthen local fighters against a rival tribe. Juuk reportedly admitted that he had mobilized the SPLA to take part in attacks against the rival as it was his duty to protect his tribe. Juuk, along with Lomuro, has been identified as a key minister opposing the Hybrid Court for South Sudan. As of late 2018, Juuk and other senior South Sudanese government officials were overseeing an effort to train tribal militias to prepare for the possibility of renewed violence upon the return of Machar to South Sudan.
Juuk is being designated for being responsible for or complicit in or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan or obstructing reconciliation or peace talks or processes.