The Enough Project has called on the UN Security Council to “hijack” state institutions that are being used to fuel conflict through corruption gains.
The Founding Director of the US-based think tank, John Prendergast, made the statement while addressing the first-ever session on the connection between corruption and conflict on Monday.
“Until the Security Council and other interested parties with potential influence can create leverage to change this dynamics, the bottom line is that war will remain more beneficial than peace for those at the center of conflict and corruption,” he said.
Institutions including Nilepet has been accused of funneling millions in oil revenues to security services and ethnic militias, with limited oversight and accountability – accusations the state oil firm denies.
Research groups such as the Enough Project and the Global Witness have been able to detail transactions carried out through leaked documents.
However, the state-owned petroleum company Nilepet denied the accusations.
The Enough Project in its latest report: “Breaking Out of the Spiral in South Sudan: Anti-Money Laundering, Network Sanctions, and a New Peacemaking Architecture,” says financial tools should continue to be used and expanded to build greater leverage over the South Sudan.
These include network sanctions, sectoral sanctions, and anti-money laundering measures.
“The same people benefiting from war economies are often the power brokers in peace talks and have limited incentives; in fact sometimes no incentives to reached and implement a negotiated settlement especially if adhering to such an agreement means losing out economically,” he added.
“Therefore peace efforts require an emphasis on conflict transformation where war economies must be dismantled and hijack state institutions.”
Prendergast spoke alongside Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Meanwhile, Mr Guterres acknowledged that corruption is a global crisis.
“People across the world continue to express outrage at the corruption of their leaders and that’s how deeply corruption is embedded in societies,” he said.
He called on leaders to ensure “transparency and accountability or make way for those who will”.
The Security Council session was initiated by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.
It comes as the United States takes up the rotating U.N. Security Council Presidency.