A new report conducted by the Sentry shows that regional and international individuals and companies are some of the profiteers in the South Sudan conflict.
These are Chinese-Malaysian oil giants and British tycoons and networks of traders from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda.
According to the report launched on Thursday evening, “kleptocratic” South Sudan leaders and these individuals and companies have accumulated billions of dollars.
“The country’s natural resources have been plundered, lethal militia and military units responsible for atrocities have received financing and kleptocrats have lined their pockets with untold billions of dollars allocated by government programs meant to improve the livelihood of some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world,” partly reads The Taking of the South Sudan.
“The spoils of this heist are coursing through the international financial system in the form of shell companies, stuffed bank accounts, luxury real estate and comfortable safe havens around the world for the extended families of those involved in violence and corruption.”
It says while many international companies benefit from South Sudan’s violent kleptocratic system, some have provided direct support to actors perpetrating violence.
Several multinational corporations have forged formal partnerships with, or provided material support to, people and entities responsible for human rights abuses.
A multinational oil consortium in South Sudan controlled by China National Petroleum Corporation and Malaysia’s state-owned oil company, Petronas, offered material support to a pro-government Padang militia that committed gross human rights violations in Melut, Malakal and Renk.
“[The] militia…commit atrocities, including burning of entire villages, targeting civilians, and an attack on a U.N. protection-of-civilians,” it stresses.
It also states that some of the South Sudanese worked with the companies, include the former minister of petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and General Malek Reuben:
“Dar Petroleum agreed to pay $686,056 to Crown Hotel in Juba to cover bills racked up by then-Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth—a dual US-South Sudan citizen— at a rate of $30,000 to $59,000 per month,”the report says.
Other records indicate that funds earmarked for community development were diverted to Dar Petroleum to finance oil production, purchase armored vehicles and pay for the college tuition of the son of Malek Reuben Riak.”
General Malek has been sanctioned by the UN Security Council for his role in the conflict.
The report explains and illustrates how the first family has “taken” the country.
The Taking of South Sudan urges the US to update sanctions designation criteria to include family members as one of the recommendations.
Others include blocking of corrupt officials from accessing luxury goods and property abroad, going after entire networks, including international facilitators, and sounding the alarm on corrupt real estate acquisitions.
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