Juba - A recent investigative report by The Sentry has highlighted the plight faced by the South Sudanese people after it revealed how opposing political leaders were both profiting from the ongoing civil war in the country, BBC reports.
The Sentry, which is an initiative of the Enough Project looks to disrupt and ultimately dismantle the network of perpetrators, facilitators and enablers, who fund and profit from Africa's deadliest conflicts.
The investigative report, released on Tuesday said that South Sudan's political and military elite had profited greatly while the country suffered under a civil war of their own making.
Headed by actor George Clooney, the report accused South Sudan leaders, President Salva Kirr, opposition leader Riek Machar and top generals of profiteering.
Entitled War Crimes Shouldn't Pay, it highlighted in detail the many links to family members and those with close ties to the two leaders living luxurious lifestyles while owning several properties in upscale areas in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Investigative journalists alongside authors of the report spent two years gathering evidence proving links to banks, Russian oil tycoons and multi-national companies funding, and seeking to profit from the civil war.
The report revealed plans by Machar to sell the country's oil production to a Ukranian arms company through a Russian intermediary with multiple aliases, for weapons to fund his rebellion against president Kirr.
Both Kirr and Machar owned luxurious properties in the same neighbourhood in an upscale area of Nairobi, while millions in South Sudan lived in dire conditions, suffering from hunger.
According to a previous reports, the Sentry said it had obtained images of South Sudanese officials' family members jet-setting and partying in five-star hotels, as well as documentation of their properties abroad.
Officials in the east African country, who earn modest salaries had been able to amass fortunes with help from arms dealers, bankers, lawyers and others abroad, it said.
"The key catalyst of South Sudan's civil war has been competition for the grand prize, control over state assets and the country's abundant natural resources, between rival kleptocratic networks led by president Kiir and (former) vice president Machar," the report said.
South Sudan recently agreed to the deployment of a 4 000-strong regional protection force approved by the UN Security Council after first rejecting the peacekeepers as a violation of its sovereignty.
The announcement came after the Security Council met with Kiir during a rare visit to that country.
- News 24