US Sanctions 2 South Sudan Businessmen, 6 Companies For Corruption - Treasury Dept.
The United States imposed economic sanctions on South Sudanese business tycoons Ashraf Seed Ahmed Al-Cardinal and Kur Ajing Ater and companies they control for bribery, kickbacks and procurement fraud, the Treasury Department announced in a press release on Friday
"Al-Cardinal and Ajing leverage their businesses and political connections to engage in corruption at great expense to the South Sudanese people," Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism Sigal Mandelker said in the release.
Treasury also sanctioned five companies owned or controlled by Al-Cardinal, and one company owned or controlled by Ajing, the release said.
The release cited the Global Magnitsky Act, which authorizes sanctions against human rights abusers, as well as a presidential executive order extending the law to corruption as a source of abuses.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented human rights abuses by South Sudanese soldiers and rebels in an ethnically based civil war. A recent HRW report accused soldiers of shooting civilians, burning homes, destroying crops and using rape to terrorize communities.
The United States Congress adopted the Magnitsky Act in 2012 following the 2009 death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who investigators ruled died of natural causes in prison due to complications caused by diabetes and a heart problem.
In 2016, the Congress expanded the legislation by adopting the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the US government to impose sanctions on any entity or individual - regardless of nationality - implicated in human rights abuses or corruption. Other countries including the United Kingdom and Canada have adopted similar legislation.
President Donald Trump in December 2017 signed an executive order declaring a national emergency due to serious rights abuses and corruption around the world, thereby expanding the authorities of the Magnitsky legislation.