Cover Story

UN sanctions Kenyan Banks to freeze accounts of top army officers in S. Sudan

By Sasuk Taban

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has issued an alert to all Commercial Banks and Mortgage Finance Companies in the region with regulatory links to freeze the accounts of the six individuals who were sanctioned by the United Nations.

The financial circular No. 4 on the 10th of October 2017 addressed to the Chief Executives of Commercial Banks and Mortgage Finance Companies directs them to freeze the financial assets of James Koang Chuol, Commander of SPLA-IO, Simon Gatwech Dual, Chief of General Staff (SPLA-IO), Peter Gadet, the Deputy Chief of Staff for operations (SPLA-IO), Gabriel Jok Riak, Commander (SPLA), Santino Deng Wol, Commander in the SPLA and Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok from the SPLA all of whom were sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council under UNSCR 2206 in 2015 for human rights violations and continued participation and involvement in the armed conflict in South Sudan.

Under the Resolution, all the designated individuals are subject to sanctions which comprises of a travel ban and an asset freeze on all funds, financial assets and economic resources belonging to the designated individuals or any other person or entity related to the designated individuals.

Commercial banks and mortgage finance companies are directly affected by Paragraph 12 of the UNSCR 2206 (2015) which requires UN member states to effect an asset freeze without delay on any individuals or entities designated for sanctions under the Resolution.

The sanctions take effect from the date of the adoption of UNSCR 2206 on March 3rd 2015 and were subsequently renewed for a period of one year each under UNSCR 2290 (2016) and UNSCR 2353 (2017) which extends the asset freeze to May 31st, 2018.

A source in one of the local banks linked to Kenya confirmed having received the circular, saying since the sanction was in place they were not supposed to transact any businesses with the six individuals under the banking acts.

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