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EU imposes sanctions on South Sudanese army general

South Sudanese soldiers (SSPDF) singing pro-war song (AFP file photo)

March 22, 2021 (JUBA) - The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on a South Sudanese army general allegedly involved in serious human rights violations, such as arbitrary executions and killings.

The EU, in a statement issued on Monday, said Major Gen. Gabriel Moses Lokujo of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), directed the abduction and execution of three armed opposition (SPLA-IO) officers in May last year.

"As a consequence, several deaths and injuries were reported on both sides during the last quarter of 2020, and civilians were also displaced, especially in the Kajo-Keji area of Central Equatoria State. Major General Lokujo’s forces remained in the area where several further clashes have been reported and the safety and security of the civilian communities continue to be in jeopardy," partly reads the statement.

The sanctions involve freezing assets in the EU and a ban on travels within the EU nations.

The EU, further noted the statement, also imposed sanctions over human rights violations and repressions in North Korea, Libya, Russia and China.

Reacting to the latest EU sanction, John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry, said it was a case of the EU using the right tool on the wrong target.

"For sanctions to be effective, they need to target the senior-most commanders and their companies to have the kind of impact on the calculations of the South Sudanese leadership that is being sought," said Prendergast.

"This sanctioning of a minor target is not going to have an impact, unfortunately," he added.

Lokujo was not immediately available to comment on the EU’s sanctions.

In February 2018, the EU imposed similar sanctions on former military chief Gen. Paul Malong Awan, former deputy chief of staff, Malek Reuben Riak and Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth for their alleged role in serious human rights violations and obstructions of the political process.