Today, Human Rights Watch released a dispatch urging immediate UN sanctions enforcement in South Sudan, echoing public calls made by the Enough Project and others. In March 2015, the Security Council created a system to impose sanctions on those blocking peace in South Sudan. Since then, they have set up a Sanctions Committee, led by Chile to manage that framework. The Committee has appointed five experts to document violations, research perpetrators and identify targets for sanctions. In their dispatch, Human Rights Watch urges that the Council "make full use of [the sanctions framework] now to place travel bans and asset freezes on violators."
Pointing to recent UN reports about the burning of villages, rape of women and the abduction of children, the team at Human Rights Watch urged the UN to "not just condemn violations but take firm steps to help ensure accountability for the war crimes and potential crimes against humanity UNMISS has already documented in South Sudan." Undoubtedly, UNMISS's existing records and ongoing investigations will be an incredible resource for the recently appointed experts who will be writing their own report soon.
Enough has been calling for targeted sanctions on South Sudan's elites for months.
Read the full dispatch on Human Rights Watch's website.
Photo credit: 2010 AP file photo of former Government of South Sudan Vice President, Riek Machar, front left, and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan pay respects at the grave of late southern Sudanese rebel leader Dr. John Garang in Juba.