Ugandan banks are in a spot of bother as the international community moves to tighten sanctions against the warring factions in South Sudan.
Any move against the warring parties in South Sudan seen as the stumbling blocks to peace moves, are likely to affect commercial banks in Uganda and Tanzania because currently they’re the channeling banks for their activities.
According to the East African, tightened the sanctions against the spoilers could come as early as this week, when a review of progress in the revitalization of the 2015 South Sudan peace process starts in Addis Ababa.
The sanctions, sources said, would target the country’s top leadership, including the opposition, and would include asset freezes.
The leaders are accused of money laundering and international banks will be required to enforce stricter due diligence on financial transactions involving the individuals under restraint.
In addition, the US on Friday imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan to push for respect for peace agreements. US State Department stated that it will restrict sales of defence equipment to the war-torn country and urged the UN and other countries to do the same.
“I urge my fellow Council members to support an arms embargo. This isn’t punishment. Nor is it a meaningless gesture. It is something we can do to actually help the people of South Sudan — to slow the violence, slow the flow of arms and ammunition, and protect innocent lives,” The US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.
The African Union (AU) has come out for the first time to support sanctions against those perpetuating the war, in a concerted approach that could not spare Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar — the key protagonists.
The AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said during last week’s AU Summit that it was time to impose sanctions against those blocking peace in what he called “unbelievable cruelty” and “senseless violence.”
“The time has come to sanction those who are blocking peace. We need to act against those who, with impunity, are continuing to massacre their peaceful populations. All the agreements that have been signed have been violated,” said Mr Mahamat.
In the new approach, President Kiir, Dr Machar and top generals risk their assets outside South Sudan being seized and their bank accounts frozen at home and abroad in case they scuttle the political talks.
President Kiir officially earns close to $60,000 annually, but sources in Juba say his extended family members have several assets outside South Sudan. Dr Machar’s family members are known to flaunt excessive wealth in Nairobi and Addis Ababa, where they live in luxurious homes.