The probe alleged an American arms trafficker tried to sell a trove of weapons to a South Sudanese warlord, and two British citizens formed an oil company with a warlord accused of forcibly recruiting thousands of child soldiers.
It also said a $65 million scandal involving a South Sudanese general and a British tycoon illustrated “the impunity enjoyed by kleptocrats and their international collaborators”.
The Sentry, set up in 2015, is composed of financial investigators, international human rights lawyers, and regional experts as well as former law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, policymakers, investigative journalists, and banking.
EXTRACTS ABOUT UGANDA
- Uganda and Kenya should enact and enforce sanctions. Uganda and Kenya should implement
United Nations sanctions against UN-listed South Sudanese officials, including by enforcing the travel ban and freezing physical property such as homes, which should be considered as “financial assets” of the sanctioned person. Through its investigative reporting, The Sentry has revealed how several top South Sudanese generals—including a number now under UN sanctions—have purchased luxury properties in Kampala, Nairobi and elsewhere in the region.
- The Central banks of Kenya and Uganda should also issue a circular warning of the money
laundering risks associated with South Sudanese political corruption. Kenya should further
build upon the circular its central bank sent to the country’s financial institutions in October
2017 emphasizing their legal obligation to freeze the accounts of UN-sanctioned South
Sudanese officials and requiring that Kenyan financial institutions report back to the Central
Bank on what steps they have undertaken to implement these measures.
- When the Ugandan government was contacted after Airservices’ funds were frozen in Macedonia, Uganda’s attorney general Kiddu Makubuya brushed off any concerns.197 On February 8, 2011, in response to an investigative inquiry by the Basic Court of Skopje, Makubuya stated, “Cascade Construction has the full support and endorsement of the government of Uganda in the implementation” of its contract with Airservices. “Financial transactions that have been undertaken [to Air Services MK Dooel] herein don’t have any ingredients of illegal, corrupt and or fraudulent activity,” he added, calling the South Sudanese authorities’ investigation a “misunderstanding.”198 Insisting that “the project is of particular national and security importance,” Makubuya called the deal a “milestone of cooperation between the government of Uganda and Southern Sudan.”199 Makubuya resigned from the cabinet in 2012 after an investigation by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament into a compensation scandal
- RECOMMENDATIONS: Uganda should implement United Nations sanctions against UN-listed South Sudanese officials, including by enforcing the travel ban and freezing physical property such as homes that should be considered as “financial assets” of the sanctioned person. According to the UN Security Council Resolution 2206 (2015) on South Sudan, member states are to “freeze without delay all funds, financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by any individuals or entities that may be designated by the Committee, or by any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, and decides further that all Member States shall for this initial period ensure that neither these nor any other funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectlyfor such persons’ benefit, by their nationals or by persons within their territory.”210
Investigate and sound the alarm on corrupt real estate acquisitions. The Sentry’s investigations
have revealed properties owned by South Sudanese elites. Uganda should investigate and seize real estate properties possibly belonging to South Sudanese PEPs and prevent the misuse of its real estate sector.
- Issue warning on the money laundering risks associated with South Sudanese political
corruption. The Central Bank of Uganda should issue a circular to the country’s financial institutions emphasizing their legal obligation to freeze the accounts of UN-sanctioned South Sudanese officials and requiring that Ugandan financial institutions to report on measures they have undertaken to implement these measures. Uganda’s own National Risk Assessment related to money laundering identified this as an area of concern. The central bank and other agencies should act on the patterns identified in that Risk Assessment and this report