The United States government has been asked to sanction key SPLM-IO officials for role in the ongoing conflict.
A group of Nuer community members wrote to the United States asking for the sanctioning of Machar’s deputy, defense chief and other senior SPLM-IO officials.
Below is the full letter seen by HiJ.
Hon. Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of Treasury
U.S Treasury Department
1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20220
Subject: The Department of Treasury Should Sanction SPLM/SPLA (IO) peace spoilers
Dear Hon. Mnuchin,
We, the undersigned Nuer community leaders in the United States of America, were profoundly delighted last year when the U.S Senate passed a Resolution 371 urging the Secretary of Treasury to exercise all options to prevent, detect, investigate, and mitigate the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. As you demonstrated last year by sanctioning individuals deemed to be obstructing the implementation of peace in the Republic of South Sudan, we the Nuer leaders in the United States are deeply disturbed by the intransigent of some of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leaders in reaching a compromise with the government of South Sudan on the number and boundaries of states.
The anti-peace elements within the SPLM/SPLA (IO) are currently very active in intimidating Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon from reaching any compromise with President Salva Kiir Mayardit for the formation of the revitalized government on February 22nd, 2020. As you are aware, two extensions to the deadline to form the revitalized government of national unity have been granted to allow additional 100 days to complete critical Pre-transitional tasks, including the agreement on the number and boundaries of states.
When Dr. Riek Machar Teny, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and South African Vice President David Mabuso agreed for an arbitration to address the issue of states in a meeting on January 13, 2020, the people of South Sudan were delighted because most of the Pre-transitional tasks were completed except an agreement on the number and boundaries of states. However, the celebration of the people of South Sudan did not last a day because some of the hardline members of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) rejected the compromise on January 14 and warned their leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, to go back to the South African Vice President and inform him that the Liberation Council of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) rejected the proposal.
The hardliners and the peace spoilers mentioned below did not only intimidate Dr. Riek Machar Teny personally but also were pursuing systematic incitement of the Nuer civil population against the agreement and any compromise, inflicting physical and psychological torture and isolation of those perceived to be towing a moderate line within the SPLM/SPLA (IO), holding Nuer community hostage by spreading false messages of hatred and intolerance towards Dinka community, promoting and condoning violence and hostile behavior perpetrated by their loyalists toward the moderate voices within the SPLM/SPLA (IO).
When Amb. Tibor Nagy, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, met Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Juba on January 24th, the influence of the hardliners became apparent when the leader of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) rejected the proposals presented to him by the U.S. delegation. Not only that Dr. Riek Machar Teny rejected the mediation of South African Vice President to resolve the issue of states and their boundaries, but also made it abundantly clear to Amb. Tibor Nagy that the SPLM/SPLA (IO) would not participate in the formation of the revitalized transitional government of national unity on February 22nd.
In order for the Secretary of Treasury to reaffirm the support of the United States for the people of South Sudan and call on all parties to uphold their commitment to peace and compromise as outlined in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, we call upon the Department of Treasury to sanction the following peace spoilers to send a strong signal to members of the SPLM/SPLA (IO):
Madame Angelina Nyajany Teny
She is the Chairperson of Defense and Security Committee of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and a wife of Dr. Riek Machar Teny. She is the key hardliner who does not want the SPLM/SPLA (IO) to participate in the formation of the revitalized government of national unity on
February 22nd. She doesn’t support the mediation of South African Vice President in resolving the issue of states. She is a strong believer of a military solution to the conflict in South Sudan.
Mr. Henry Dilah Odwar
He is the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and hardliner who shares the same radical views of Madame Angelina Teny. He has a deep-rooted hatred against the Dinka community and has a disdain for the peace agreement which maintains a Dinka as the head of state. He believes in the expansion of conflict in Greater Equatoria region.
Mr. Mabior Garang de Mabior
He is the National Chairman for Information and Public Relations of the SPLM/SPLA (IO). He is an unapologetic hardliner who entirely rejects the 2018 peace agreement as a flawed document which empowers the government. His writings on his Facebook page against the peace and any compromise with the government are well documented.
Mr. Puot Kang Chuol
He is the Chairperson of National Youth League of the SPLM/SPLA (IO). He is engaged in inciting the Nuer White Army and the youth of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) to reject peace and any compromise with the government on the number and boundaries of states. He is also reported to be intimidating members of the NPTC of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) not to cooperate with members of the government to reach any compromise.
Maj. Gen. Yiey Dak Wei
He is the Director of National Security and General Intelligence Services. He is a cousin of Dr. Riek Machar and shares the same hardline views of Madame Angelina Teny. He is responsible for inciting and executing violent attacks against Ciew-wau civilians in Maiwut State.
As the Senate Resolution 371 urges the Secretary of Treasury to take a swift action against the peace spoilers in South Sudan, we therefore call upon you to impose sanctions on the aforementioned individuals in order to compel the parties to the conflict to commit to an unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities, and to the immediate cessation of the recruitment and mobilization of civilians.