The European Union has sanctioned South Sudan army general Gabriel Moses Lokujo over human rights violations.
In a statement seen by The EastAfrican, the EU described the sanction as a signal and strong determination as a stand up for human rights and taking tangible action against those responsible for violations and abuses.
“In South Sudan, the sanctioned individual is Gabriel Moses Lokujo, who has been responsible for grave human rights violations connected to his defection followed by attacks on civilians.
“Military defections must not in any case be encouraged or accepted, as they violate the peace agreement and contribute to violence affecting civilians and to human rights abuses and violations,” reads the statement.
The EU on Monday said it imposed restrictive measures on eleven individuals and four entities responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses in various countries around the world. The individuals included four Russians.
The body urged decision-makers in South Sudan to fulfil their promises of peace and development and to address the socioeconomic, political and environmental challenges of the country and its people.
It stated that recent reports of UN bodies underline that there are still serious human rights violations and abuses in the country.
“We welcome declarations by South Sudan Government representatives committing to investigate these cases and stand ready to support efforts to curb impunity and respect and promote human rights.”
Who is Gen Lokujo
In December last year, military clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr Riek Machar in Morroto area of Central Equatoria State left four soldiers dead, according to Machar's deputy military spokesperson.
SPLA-IO accused Gen Moses Lokujo, its former senior military commander who in November last year switched sides by pledging allegiance to the SSPDF under President Salva Kiir, of being behind the continued attacks on its sites.
SPLA-IO accused Gen. Lokujo of launching continuous attacks on training centres for unified forces.
According to the SPLA-IO, Gen Lokujo switched sides escaping punishment for the alleged killing of three SPLA-IO officers in May 2020.
In December last year, SPLA-IO accused Gen Lokujo of ceasefire violations in Central Equatoria State, adding that his violations were being aided by the SSPDF army headquarters in Juba. The SSPDF denied the allegations.
The ceasefire monitoring body, CTSAM-VM, last year identified Gen Lokujo as the one responsible for the ongoing civilian displacements in Kajo-keji County, Central Equatoria State.
In November last year, the Intergovernmental Authority of Development (Igad) Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais, said he was disappointed over reports of fighting between a splinter group and the SPLA-IO in Yei River area, Central Equatoria State.
The 2018 revitalised peace agreement mandates the Joint Defense Board to exercise command and control over all forces during the Pre-Transitional Period.
The body, which is made up of senior military leaders, last year planned to summon the officers responsible for the confrontation.