In accordance with paragraph 18(e) of resolution 2206 (2015), the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan makes accessible a narrative summary of reasons for the listing for individuals and entities included in the sanctions list.
Malek Ruben Riak was listed on 13 July 2018 pursuant to paragraphs 6, 7 (a), and 8 of resolution 2206 (2015), as reaffirmed in resolution 2418 (2018), for “actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan”; “Actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan ...,” and as a leader “of any entity, including any South Sudanese government, opposition, militia, or other group, that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the activities described in paragraphs 6 and 7,” and pursuant to paragraph 14 (e) of this resolution for “planning, directing, or committing acts involving sexual and gender-based violence in South Sudan”.
According to the report by the Panel of Experts on South Sudan in January 2016 (S/2016/70), Riak was one of a group of senior security officials who planned a Unity state offensive against the SPLM-IO beginning in January 2015, and subsequently oversaw its execution from late April 2015 onwards. The Government of South Sudan began arming Bul Nuer youth in early 2015 to facilitate their participation in the offensive. Most Bul Nuer youth already had access to AK-pattern automatic rifles, but ammunition was critical to sustaining their operations. The Panel of Experts reported evidence, including testimony from military sources, that ammunition was supplied to youth groups by SPLA headquarters specifically for the offensive. Riak was the SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics at the time. The offensive resulted in systematic destruction of villages and infrastructure, the forced displacement of the local population, the indiscriminate killing and torturing of civilians, the widespread use of sexual violence, including against the elderly and children, the abduction and recruitment of children as soldiers, and large population displacement. Following the destruction of much of the southern and central parts of the state, numerous media and humanitarian organizations, as well as the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) published reports about the scale of the abuses that were perpetrated.”