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Sanctioned leaders’ property be confiscated for the needy

By David Mono Danga

Persons living with disabilities have called on the international community to confiscate the assets and freeze accounts of the sanctioned South Sudanese leaders and use the money for humanitarian aid.

The Chairperson of the National Disabled Organization, Francis Aguek Madut said  parties to the peace agreement to keep postponing the talks in order to get more incentives from the TROIKA.

“We the people living with disabilities welcome the sanctions against our leaders because they are putting their interests first instead of considering the suffering of the common citizens. We urge that the International community freeze their assets and use the money to buy food for the vulnerable people,” Madut told Juba Monitor yesterday.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Security Council sanctioned the Minister of Defense and the Minister of cCabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro saying the crisis in the country was being fuelled by the conduct of the leaders.

UNSC said in a statement following a Saturday meeting in New York that under Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk’s command, the SPLA forces violated the agreement on cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and humanitarian access signed between government and rebels in last year.

Madut proposed that more sanctions should be imposed on the warlords including the Former Detainees (FDs) and their property in the foreign countries be sold to help the needy in the Protection of Civilians sites (POCs) and in the refugee camps. That way he said the leaders would reconsider their decision and bring sustainable peace to South Sudan to avoid losing their accumulated wealth.

He also urged the IGAD to surrender the peace negotiation role to a stronger negotiator. He accused the regional body of blocking the success of the peace deal.

“The IGAD is not as strong as the ECOWAS in West Africa. Let them step down and give chance to another negotiator. They have taken the peace talks as a profit making project. They know if they make the parties sign peace they will not get the money from Troika. IGAD is being influenced by our leaders. That is why they are so discriminative and selective in choosing who attends the revitalization forum,” Madut said.

“They do not want people leaving with disabilities to attend the forum yet they are the vulnerable people. If the war continues the number of the disabled persons also increases creating more burdens. We need peace. Without citizens who would the leaders be leading? he asked.

Madut said the people living with disability need to be represented in the High Level Revitalization Forum so that their voices can be hard. He said they apart from Visa, ticket and accommodation don’t want incentives.

He also suggested that the peace talks be relocated to Kenya where the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005 adding that no peace deal negotiated in Ethiopia has ever succeeded. He cited the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement as a typical example.

Decades of conflict in South Sudan, pre and post-independence in 2011, poverty and poor access to services have increased the rate of disability and rendered people with disabilities more marginalised and excluded as a result of the numerous attitudinal, environmental, and institutional barriers they face, and the lack of concerted efforts to include them.

The United States has proposed the U.N. Security Council impose sanctions against several South Sudanese ministers and officials accusing them of obstructing peace efforts and blocking humanitarian assistance to civilians.
The Security Council diplomats are due to meet for negotiations on the text on Tuesday and a vote is scheduled for Thursday. A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States to pass.

The council sanctioned several senior South Sudanese officials on both sides of the conflict in 2015, but a U.S. bid to impose an arms embargo in December 2016 failed.

In November, Russia said it would be counterproductive to impose further targeted sanctions or an arms embargo on South Sudan.

The proposed measures would freeze the assets and ban travel for the six officials, including Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, former army chief Paul Malong, Minister of Information Michael Lueth, and deputy chief of defence for logistics in the South Sudan Army Malek Reuben Riak Rengu

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