OFAC Designates Leaders of Opposing Forces in South Sudan
Four years ago today, the Republic of South Sudan became the newest independent state. South Sudan has suffered from tragic internecine violence since gaining its independence. Both the United Nations and the United States have implemented sanctions in response to this internal conflict.
On July 2, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added two individuals to the List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN List) pursuant to Executive Order 13664 for threatening the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan, interfering with the ongoing peace process, and for being leaders of groups responsible for the same malfeasance. The OFAC press release for these designations identifies Gabriel Jok Riak as a commander of the South Sudanese military, responsible for grave human rights abuses. OFAC describes Simon Gatwech Dual as the Chief of General Staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition, responsible for attacks against civilians and government forces.
In contradistinction with the comprehensive Sudan-related sanctions program, the South Sudan-related sanctions are list-based. The prohibitions under this program are therefore limited to the individuals and entities on the SDN List, including entities owned 50 percent or greater by these designees, pursuant to the so-called “50 Percent Rule.”
The nature of the conflict and OFAC’s willingness to target opposing forces in the civil war means that U.S. businesses must use enhanced due diligence in all dealings with South Sudan. It is imperative to not only identify all the parties involved, but also avoid any transaction that may benefit SDNs.