June 22, 2023

OFAC issues first-ever conflict-related sexual violence designations against two South Sudanese officials

On June 20, 2023, the day following International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated two South Sudanese officials for their involvement in conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan.  According to OFAC, the designated individuals — a Major General in the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and the Governor of Western Equatoria, who is affiliated with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition — abused their positions of authority by carrying out acts of sexual violence against civilians between April and August 2018, including the rape and gang-rape of at least 43 women and girls.  Both were sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13664 for engaging in, or being complicit, in actions that target women, children or civilians with sexual violence, abduction, or forced placement in South Sudan.

These designations, along with sanctions imposed upon ISIS leaders by the State Department, represent the first time that the United States has issued sanctions focused on conflict-related sexual violence.  OFAC noted that these designations are consistent with the Presidential Memorandum to Promote Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence issued in November 2022.

As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of a designee within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked.

Department of Treasury Press Release