May 19, 2024

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Two South Sudanese Officials Responsible for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on two South Sudanese individuals involved in conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in South Sudan. The sanctions were announced today, coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Major General James Nando, a member of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, is one of the individuals designated by OFAC. Nando’s forces were found responsible for at least 64 cases of rape and sexual slavery against civilians in Western Equatoria between June and September 2021. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan documented 43 cases of rape and gang-rape during these attacks. Despite being aware of the abuses, Nando did not take action to prevent or punish the perpetrators, thereby fostering an environment conducive to continued sexual violence.

The second individual designated is Alfred Futuyo, the Governor of Western Equatoria and affiliated with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Opposition. Forces under Futuyo’s command carried out multiple attacks in Western Equatoria between April and August 2018, resulting in the abduction of 887 civilians, including at least 43 cases of rape or gang-rape.

These designations were made under Executive Order 13664, which holds individuals accountable for engaging in acts of violence, including sexual violence, targeting women, children, or any civilians. Such acts include killing, maiming, torture, rape, abduction, forced displacement, and attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians seek refuge.

As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals within the United States or under the control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Entities that are 50 percent or more owned by the designated individuals are also subject to blocking. U.S. persons and those transacting within or through the United States are generally prohibited from engaging in any dealings involving the property or interests in property of designated individuals, unless authorized by a specific license issued by OFAC or exempted under its regulations.

The Treasury’s actions represent the first time that a dedicated focus on conflict-related sexual violence, as outlined in the Presidential Memorandum signed by President Biden in November 2022, has led to the imposition of U.S. sanctions. The Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, reiterated the United States’ commitment to holding perpetrators and enablers of conflict-related sexual violence accountable, emphasizing the rejection of all forms of sexual violence in armed conflict.

The sanctions imposed by OFAC aim to bring about a positive change in behavior rather than simply punishing the designated individuals. Individuals seeking removal from the OFAC list can refer to the provided resources for detailed information on the process.

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