South Sudan's Kiir promotes UN-sanctioned general

Tuesday September 25 2018

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH ODUHA
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South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has appointed UN-sanctioned army commander Reuben Malek as new deputy Defence minister.

President Kiir announced Gen Malek's appointment on the state television on Monday evening.

Gen Malek was blacklisted by the UN Security Council for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in 2015 under his command in the troubled Upper Nile State.

A report

He was also accused of being among the top corrupt military commanders in South Sudan.

The Sentry lobby group, in a report released in 2016, alleged that Gen Malek looted an estimated $3 million during his time as the army deputy chief of staff for logistics. But he denied the claims.

President Kiir had earlier promoted another sanctioned Gen Gabriel Riak and appointed him the Army Chief of Staff.

Rights violations

Gen Riak later in May travelled to China, in violation of the UN sanctions against him, which include travel ban and assets freeze.

Human Rights Watch said the promotion and appointment of blacklisted army commanders by President Kiir was a disregard for justice.

The lobby group said the move encouraged the human rights violations and impunity in the young country.

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