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EU urged to put financial pressure on S. Sudan

SPLA soldiers sit in a vehicle in Juba December 20, 2013/REUTERS

The US- based Enough Project has called on the European Union to deploy modernized tools of financial pressure to stop perpetrators of violence in South Sudan.

In its latest report titled; Euro pressure, the international human rights group says that EU has the tools to stop violent kleptocrats in the country and reinvigorate the peace process.

The group laid out short, medium, and long term tools it believes that the European Union can use as part of a coordinated strategy to help end the crisis and suffering in South Sudan.

“The international community is slowly developing an evolving strategy of applying pressures to the spoilers of the South Sudanese peace process,” Brad Brooks-Rubin, report co-author and Managing Director at the Enough Project and The Sentry.

“The tide is shifting, and clear action by the European Union can press this effort forward and provide negotiators with real leverage to start to bring about real change in South Sudan.”

In the short term;  the Enough Project suggested that the EU should not only sanction individuals peace spoilers, but also their business networks, engaging with neighboring governments and issuing warnings to active financial institutions in the region.

And in the medium and long term strategy, the enough project calls on the EU to impose sectorial-based restrictive measures on economic sectors that are under the control of certain political and military elites.

These include in the extractive industries, banking, and transport sectors.

“There is now a clear opportunity for the EU to build on this leadership and apply new financial pressures to the crisis in South Sudan, where grand corruption is driving so much of the humanitarian crisis that Europe is spending hundreds of millions of euros every year to ease,” said Jonathan Benton, report co-author and Operations Director (Europe) at The Sentry.

The group also urges the EU to become a cooperating member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, among others.

It calls on the United Kingdom and Germany to take the lead, saying they have the most developed financial systems.