This policy brief traces the institutional weaknesses that facilitate the illegal flow of funds belonging to the state of South Sudan and how those funds may be channeled back to escalate civil conflict thereby undermining state sovereignty and opportunities for genuine democratic development. The problem of illicit financial flows in South Sudan contains a regional dimension owing to the fact that the country’s landlocked economy relies on the flow of valuable minerals, petroleum and timber through its neighbors, including Kenya and Uganda within the East African Community. These states have standing legal obligations to monitor and take actions to prevent flows of finances and property and to ensure that these do not escalate the conflict or represent illegally acquired property of the state of South Sudan.
This policy brief therefore examines the diplomatic, institutional and legal imperatives that exist for Kenya and Uganda to respond to the IFFs from South Sudan. The policy brief is confined to the property and financial assets that belong to the government of South Sudan in addition to the illegal transfer of assets by politically exposed persons who have direct influence on the conflict. While cognizant of the fact that other forms of illicit transfers are taking place, those remain outside the scope of this policy brief.