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World urged to enforce sanctions after Jok’s China visit

SPLA Chief Gen Jok Riak | Credit | Facebook

The Sentry has urged the international community to enforce the sanctions against South Sudan and individual leaders in an effort to attain a sustainable peace in the country.

The Sentry is a team of policy analysts, regional experts, and financial forensic investigators that follows the money in order to create consequences for those funding and profiting from genocide or other mass atrocities in Africa, and to build leverage for peace.

The call comes after an alleged recent visit of the SPLA chief to China.

The US-based Enough Project’s initiative says it has confirmed that Gen Jok Riak traveled to China in July without an official waiver from the United Nations.

General Jok Riak was sanctioned by the UN in 2015 for allegedly perpetuating violence and breaching ceasefire agreements, accusations the army has repeatedly denied.

General Jok reportedly travel to the Asian country to attend the first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum.

In a statement seen by Eye Radio, it says the Khartoum peace deal will not work if it is implemented with the same neglect as enforcement of sanctions.

“The short-sighted, status quo draft of the recent Khartoum Peace Agreement is incomplete and does not address the structural issues that led to the conflict in the first place,” said Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project.

“The international community must strongly enforce sanctions and escalate financial pressures on South Sudan’s corrupt officials and their networks to support a sustainable peace.”

For his part, the Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, said Gen. Jok Riak’s travel exposes a gap in sanctions enforcement.

“Not only was Jok Riak able to travel to China—which voted to sanction him in 2015—for a military conference but he still maintains a home in Kampala that Ugandan authorities should have long ago seized,” Joshua White said.

“Sanctions must be more than symbolic messages, and we call on the governments of these countries to respect their UN obligations with respect to South Sudan.”