November 19, 2016 (JUBA) - The United States has demanded the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on the leader of the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) SPLA chief of staff and information minister for hampering the peace process in South Sudan.
The Associated Press reported that an annex to the U.S. resolution calling for an arms embargo and new sanctions proposes to impose travel bans and freeze the assets of rebel leader Riek Machar, Gen. Paul Malong and Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.
The annex says Machar’s SPLM-IO faction “declared war on the South Sudanese government and called for armed resistance” following what “forces allied with Machar have raided villages and abducted civilians and aid workers,” reported The AP.
In a statement released on 25 September, following a meeting held in Khartoum, the SPLM-IO called to wage war on the “regime” in Juba under President Salva Kiir and called on the international community to declare it a “rogue” regime.
Regarding the Sudan People’s Liberation Army’s Chief of Staff, the annex said Malong has expanded the conflict in South Sudan and broken the cease-fire deal.
“As of early August 2016, Malong was responsible for efforts to kill opposition leader Riek Machar,” it said, including knowingly violating Kiir’s orders and launching tank, helicopter gunship and infantry assaults on July 11 against the rebel leader’s residence and the rebels’ ”Jebel” base.
He informed SPLA commanders “that Machar was not to be taken alive,” says the annex, according to The AP.
Last year, the U.S. failed to blacklist Malong and top rebel commander, Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony, because of opposition from Russia, China, Angola and Venezuela.
On the case of Lueth, the minister of information and broadcasting, the annex said he“has repeatedly and consistently worked to obstruct and undermine the implementation of peace deals in South Sudan”.
It further points to Lueth’s involvement in planning and coordinating an April 2014 attack on the U.N. compound in the Jonglei State capital, Bor where three U.N. guards and 140 civilians were killed. The
Also, the annex cited his statement in September that the government would treat “as invaders” members of the Regional Protection Force if they deployed without government approval on numbers, nationalities and equipment.
The Security Council has already imposed sanctions on six South Sudanese commanders, three from the government and three from the opposition.