According to leading activist Boniface Mwangi, the ongoing carnage in South Sudan has claimed the lives of 3 percent of the country’s population and is being facilitated by Kenyan banks and government.
He named leading Kenya commercial banks for fueling the conflict such as the Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity and Stanbic banks.
The protesters who were joined by South Sudanese nationals living in Kenya later moved from Uhuru Park and staged protests outside branches of the banks in Nairobi.
“War criminals are looting South Sudan,” one placard read while another screamed: “Stop stealing our gold money.”
Mwangi said that the world has for too long either ignored the war on South Sudan or considered it a simple power struggle between the factions of President Salva Kiir and his ex- deputy, Riek Machar.
“While the humanitarian crisis deepens and millions face starvation bank accounts of certain south Sudanese are handling millions of dollar worth of transactions are growing fat. It is clear that banks of Kenyan and Uganda are handling millions of dollars’ worth of transactions that reward generals and warlords not just to continue massacring their own people, but able to profit from it through illegal trade in oil and teak wood smuggling,” he said.
“For too long we have allowed ourselves to think the war in South Sudan is a foreign issue, caused affecting only the people of that country. But it is increasingly clear that the Kenyan banks are facilitating large scale pillage of South Sudan,” he added.
According to Mwangi, the practice is done at a great risk to the Kenyan economy as well as the nascent Nairobi International Financial Centre.
According to a United Nations panel report released earlier in the year, Kenya’s banking and real-estate sectors are key destinations for financial assets and laundered funds from South Sudan.
Separately, a 2016 report sanction by the Sentry Group, founded by renowned American actor, George Clooney, exposes in detail how Kenyan banks laundered billions for the South-Sudan elites and military chiefs.
In February, the government denied allegations that the East African nation has been trafficking large quantities of weapons and ammunition into South Sudan.
The United Nations Special Advisor for Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng had accused Kenya of fueling South Sudan’s civil war.