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Entertainment

AFP
September 19, 2019

George Clooney's investigative project calls for action in South Sudan corruption report

Entertainment

AFP
Thu, Sep 19, 2019

LONDON: Hollywood star George Clooney's investigative project The Sentry on Thursday urged the international community to act over alleged links between global corporations, tycoons and foreign governments and rampant corruption in South Sudan.

The Sentry -- co-founded by Clooney and former US official John Prendergast -- accused individuals and corporations worldwide of profiting from South Sudanese politicians and military officials "ravaging the world's newest nation".

In a 64-page report, the organisation called on the United States to expand its sanctions regime to target those involved and asked Britain and the European Union to impose sanctions on human rights violators and their networks.

"The South Sudanese politicians and military officials ravaging the world´s newest nation received essential support from individuals and corporations from across the world who have reaped profits from those dealings," the authors of "The Taking of South Sudan" report concluded.

"Nearly every instance of confirmed or alleged corruption or financial crime in South Sudan examined by The Sentry has involved links to an international corporation, a multinational bank, a foreign government or high-end real estate abroad."

Clooney, a longtime campaigner for human rights in the region, best known for his advocacy in Sudan's western region of Darfur, unveiled the report at a press conference in London Thursday.

It accuses Dar Petroleum Corp, the largest multinational oil consortium in South Sudan -- led by a Chinese state-owned oil company -- of providing "direct support to deadly militias", according to an advance copy seen by AFP.

AFP was seeking comment from the consortium and the government.

Meanwhile Chinese investors formed a company with South Sudan President Salva Kiir's daughter and acquired several mining licenses in the country just weeks before the military reportedly drove thousands of people from the land where they held a permit, according to the research.

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 professionals.