Uganda/Kenya: Washington calls for action against South Sudanese leaders

The United States is putting more pressure on the South Sudanese leaders, while a new round of negotiations is scheduled to start on Saturday (June 16th) in Addis Ababa.

On a tour of Africa, Sigal Mandelker, US Under-Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, urged Kenya and Uganda to stop letting South Sudanese officials buy real estate on their territory.

“It’s one of my top priorities to hold those responsible for violating human rights and using the financial system to hide illegal money,” said Sigal Mandelker on Wednesday night in Nairobi.

The US undersecretary is calling on Uganda and Kenya to stop letting South Sudanese leaders buy luxury properties on their land.

Since the beginning of the civil war, millions of dollars have left South Sudan to be invested in the world. Capital thought to be from corruption and thus laundered with impunity.

The luxurious residences of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Nairobi

However according to Sigal Mandelker, the authorities have the obligation to block these operations on their soil. The NGO he Sentry investigated. According to her, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his opponent Riek Machar both have luxury homes in the posh neighborhood of Lavington, Nairobi.

John Prendergast, co-founder of The Sentry, said Wednesday that investigating and seizing these properties would be a great way to pressure the peace process.

He added that, thanks to information from his NGO, Australia had seized this year a house in Melbourne belonging to South Sudanese general James Hoth Mai. John Prendergast asked why Kenya and Uganda were not following suit.

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