UK sanctions SSPDF Gen. Nando over sex abuses

By William Madouk

The government of United Kingdom has announced sanction against an SSPDF general, James Nando for his part in alleged sexual abuses against women and girls in Tambura of Western Equatoria state.

Yesterday, UK’s Foreign Secretary announces sanctions on International Women’s Day targeting gender-based violence in Iran, Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

General Nando, former SPLM-IO who defected to join South Sudan People’s Defense Forces in March, 2020; is among the four people and one entity linked with the perpetration of gender-based violence.

Maj-Gen James Nando is alleged to have commanded the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence in Tambura County in 2021.

Mahamat Salleh Adoum Kette, from Central Africa Republic (CAR), is said to have also overseen rape and other forms of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) committed by Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) and Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) fighters.

Amjad Youssef, a member in ‘227 Region Branch’, is also sanctioned for been involved in repressing the civilian population in Syria, including through systematic rape and killing of civilians.

It also includes; the Headquarters for Enjoining Right and Forbidding Evil in Iran, and its head official Seyyed Mohammed Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani, who have been responsible for the enforcement of mandatory dress codes for women with unreasonable force.

Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly said “Promoting gender equality brings freedom, boosts prosperity and trade, and strengthens the security of us all. However, hard-won gains on gender equality are under increasing threat.”

“These sanctions send a clear message that the perpetrators of abhorrent gender-based violence must be held accountable,” he added.

Mr. Cleverly stated they will redouble their efforts to stand up for women and girls, and will use all the tools at their disposal to tackle the inequalities which remain.

In March 2022, a report by the United Nations Human Rights Commission indicates that grave human rights violations and abuses, including hundreds of killings, were committed against civilians during fighting in Tambura County.

The joint UNMISS and the UN Human Rights Office report, stated that between June and September 2021, at least 440 civilians were killed, 18 injured, and 74 abducted during clashes between warring groups.

At least 64 civilians were subjected to conflict-related sexual violence, among them a 13-year-old girl who was gang-raped to death.

In addition, some 80,000 were forced to flee their homes to escape fighting. Looting and destruction of property, child conscription, attacks on personnel and facilities, hate speech and incitement to violence were uncovered.

The report named members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition and the SSPDF led by Major General James Nando, and their respective affiliated militias, as responsible for the violations and abuses.

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