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Economy

CBK tightens noose on S. Sudan war generals

Central Bank of Kenya bank supervision director Gerald Nyaoma (left) with governor Patrick Njoroge. PHOTO | FILE
Central Bank of Kenya bank supervision director Gerald Nyaoma (left) with governor Patrick Njoroge. PHOTO | FILE 

Banks have up to end of next week (November 5) to furnish the Central Bank of Kenya with a detailed report on steps they have taken to identify and freeze assets of six top South Sudanese war generals or their associates.

The CBK on October 10 instructed bank CEOs to immediately identify and freeze cash, financial assets and economical resources of the high-ranking officials of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO).

SPLA-IO split from the South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in 2013 following differences between President Salva Kiir and his then vice president Riek Machar — now under house custody in South Africa.

The CBK’s directive, which also applies to companies or Kenyan nationals associated with the rebels, is in line with the UN Security Council’s Resolution (UNSCR) 2206 of March 2015 and successor resolutions.

“Under the resolution, all the designated individuals are subject to sanctions which comprise of a travel ban and an asset freeze on all funds, financial assets and economic resources belonging to the designated individuals or any other person or entity related to the designated individuals,” CBK director for bank supervision Gerald Nyaoma told the CEOs in the October 10 circular.

The six SPLA-IO generals were in March 2015 designated by the UNSCR 2206 for violation of human rights and continued involvement in armed conflicts in the war-torn country.

They are chief of general staff Simon Gatwech Dual, deputy chief of staff for operations Peter Gadet, commanders James Koang Chuol, Gabriel Jok Riak and Santino Deng Wol, as well as another official Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok.

The UNSCR 2206 was initially for a year, but was subsequently renewed in 2016 (UNSCR 2290) and this year (UNSCR 2353) which runs until May 31, 2018.

The regulator wants the bank CEOs to give a detailed report on accounts operated by the six rebels in Kenya and assets they own or control directly or indirectly through other persons.

Kenya has been hosting thousands of South Sudanese refugees at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana since 1993.

Nairobi has over the years also housed a number of high-profile South Sudanese citizens, some of whom own posh houses in the capital’s suburbs.

Controversial reports have in the past cited Kenyan banks for transacting millions of dollars plundered from the oil-rich nation.

“Report to CBK by November 5, on steps taken to implement UNSCR 2206 of 2015 as read together with the successor resolutions UNSCR 2290 of 2016 and UNSCR 2353 of 2017,” said Mr Nyaoma.

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