EU slaps sanctions on South Sudanese army general
The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on a South Sudanese army general for his alleged role in serious human rights violations, particularly arbitrary executions and killings.
The EU said in a statement Gabriel Moses Lokujo, a Major General of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), directed the abduction and execution of three SPLA-IO officers in May 2020.
It further said Major General Lokujo defected in September 2020 from the SPLA-IO to the SSPDF and is responsible for the ensuing clashes in and around the Moroto Training Center in Central Equatoria State.
“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,” the statement read in part.
The sanctions involve a freeze on his assets in the EU and a ban on him traveling in the bloc.
The new EU sanction system is similar to the Magnitsky Act — Obama-era legislation that authorizes the US government to sanction those it sees as human rights offenders, freeze their assets and ban them from entering the United States.
EU foreign ministers, according to the statement, also imposed sanctions over repression in North Korea, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Libya, torture and repression against LGBTI persons and political opponents in Chechnya in Russia, and human rights violations in China.
South Sudan army’s acting spokesman Santo Domic, told Radio Tamazuj after the sanctions were announced that the military has not yet received an official letter on the sanctions imposed on Major General Gabriel Moses Lokujo.
“Yes, I can confirm that Major General Gabriel Moses Lokujo is a member of SSPDF. We have not yet received information about the sanctions, so we cannot comment right now. We are waiting for an official communication so that we can react,” Domic said.
Lokujo could not immediately be reached for comment.
He is the latest South Sudanese army official to be sanctioned by the European Union. In February 2018, the EU sanctioned former military chief Paul Malong, 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.