Note: This op-ed originally appeared in The East African and was written by John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Co-founder of The Sentry, and Joshua White, Director of Palicy and Analysis at The Sentry.
The government and rebel leaders in South Sudan who are destroying their country through human rights crimes such as village burning, mass rape, child soldier recruitment, and obstruction of humanitarian aid are the same people who have looted the world’s newest country of billions of dollars of natural resource wealth.
The Kenyan real estate and banking sectors are critically important getaway cars for this South Sudanese looting machine.
As a result, the Kenyan government and private sector have a unique power over the warring parties and should apply pressure on culpable senior officials of the South Sudan government and rebel groups as well as their commercial collaborators by investigating and freezing their illicitly-obtained financial resources, and ultimately blocking them from the Kenyan financial system.
Much has been publicly reported by our organisation, The Sentry, and others about the ways in which Kenyan commercial interests have facilitated the exodus of the spoils of corruption and laundered the stolen assets of South Sudanese leaders, their family members, and their business partners.