by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Sep 7, 2017
The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against officials in South Sudan, including those accused of inciting civil war and funding arms with oil.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan 2011, but has been mired in conflict described by the United Nations as an ethnic-cleansing campaign since 2013. Rivaling the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, around 1 million South Sudanese fled the violence last year to neighboring Uganda.
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions on two South Sudanese government officials, one former official, and companies affiliated with one of those officials for their role in the destabilization.
"These actions send a clear message to those enriching themselves at the expense of the South Sudanese people that we will not let them exploit the U.S. financial system to move and hide the proceeds of their corruption and malign behavior," Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
Treasury sanctioned Paul Malong Awan, a former military chief of staff, for his alleged role in threatening South Sudan's peace and stability. He's accused of ordering attacks on soldiers from the Nuer ethnic group in South Sudan, which the U.S. government said may have triggered civil war. In 2014, South Sudan's Ministry of Defense under the official secured loans worth billions of U.S. dollars from South Sudanese oil companies in order to procure military equipment, though no actual purchases were made.
When it gained independence from Sudan in 2011, landlocked South Sudan gained control over much of the oil-producing regions, but Sudan maintained its grip on export infrastructure. Rebel forces two years after independence were waging war for control over Paloch near the Sudanese border, the only part of South Sudan that was producing oil.
The South Sudanese government has worked with Japanese companies on efforts to build an oil pipeline through Kenya to help with oil exports. In 2013, the government in Juba reached out to the United States for support in developing its oil sector, one of the few economic lifelines for South Sudan.
Both Sudans are party to a multilateral effort, led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, to curb output as part of a broader effort to balance an oversupplied market.
Elsewhere, the Treasury Department sanctioned Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, a defense official as well as his affiliated companies -- All Energy Investments Ltd, A+ Engineering, Electronics & Media Printing Co. Ltd, and Mak International Services Co Ltd. South Sudanese Minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth was also sanctioned.
Austin TX (SPX) Sep 07, 2017
Hydraulic fracturing has once again made the Permian Basin that stretches across western Texas and New Mexico one of the richest oil fields in the world. But the improved reserves come with some serious water management issues. Drilling for oil uses water upfront, and brings up large volumes of water that needs to be managed. New research led by The University of Texas at Austin Bureau of ... read more
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