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South Sudan’s Kiir and Machar profited during war

By on September 12, 2016

South Sudan’s rival leaders have been accused of amassing wealth abroad amid a conflict in which tens of
thousands have been killed, a report says.

Commissioned by actor George Clooney, the document accuses President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar, and top generals of profiteering. The report’s authors spent two years collecting evidence and testimony on behalf of a new investigative unit – called The Sentry – which was co-founded by the US actor.

It follows the trail of money with links to the families of both Mr Kiir and Mr Machar.

A new report, published on Monday by The Sentry group, said that President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar and those close to them had looted the country in accumulating assets that included mansions and luxury cars abroad.

Mr Clooney said the evidence was “detailed” and “irrefutable” and that it was time for the world to take action.

The actor said international lawyers, banks and real estate were involved in criminal behaviour linked to the militias and innocent civilians were paying the price.

“They’re stealing the money to fund their militias to attack and kill one another,” he said.

The Sentry said it had obtained images of the leaders’ family members partying in five-star hotels, as well as documentation of their offshore properties and business deals.

“President Kiir officially earns about $60,000 per year. However, this investigation found evidence that President Kiir and his family have amassed a significant amount of wealth – far exceeding what he could have earned in his official capacity – and parked a sizable amount of assets outside South Sudan,” the report concluded.
“Some have been involved in questionable business deals while others have apparently received large payments from corporations doing business in South Sudan.”

The report also accused the system of international banks, businesses, arms brokers, real estate firms and lawyers of “knowingly or unknowingly facilitating the violent kleptocracy that South Sudan has become”.

A fall-out between President Kiir and former Vice-President Machar – the most powerful members of their respective Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups – led to the civil war which erupted in December 2013.

Terrible atrocities have been carried out by both sides – often along ethnic lines.

Mass rape has been used as a weapon of war and United Nations reports have detailed human rights abuses.

Some 2.5 million people have been forced from their homes, and millions more need food aid.

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