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US Imposes Sanctions on 3 South Sudan Officials

FILE - South Sudan's former army chief, Paul Malong. On Sept. 6, 2017, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on two senior members of South Sudan's government and army chief, Paul Malong.

The Trump Administration has imposed sanctions on two senior members of South Sudan's government and the country's former army chief.

The measure Wednesday freezes any assets that Information Minister Michael Makuei Leuth, deputy defense chief Malek Reuben and former army chief Paul Malong have under U.S. jurisdiction. The three are also barred from entering the United States.

The U.S. also imposed sanctions on three South Sudanese companies by owned or controlled by Reuben.

The State Department says it is targeting the men for their roles in threatening the peace, security or stability of South Sudan, which is in the fourth year of a bloody civil conflict that has displaced four million people.

“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,” said Sigal Mandelker, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement posted on the U.S. Treasury's website.

“Treasury will forcefully respond to the atrocities ongoing in South Sudan by targeting those who abuse human rights, seek to derail the peace process, and obstruct reconciliation in South Sudan," he said.