On Thursday, President Obama signed an executive order authorizing the Department of the Treasury to impose sanctions on certain individuals and entities involved in the conflict in South Sudan. The order has two main components. First, it specifies the persons that the government can designate for sanctions. It doesn’t name particular individuals and entities; instead, it lists four broad categories of persons that the Department of the Treasury can target. These are (1) those involved in activities that undermine peace and stability, human rights violations, war crimes, or several other types of conduct; (2) leaders of organizations involved in those activities and leaders of organizations designated for sanctions under the order; (3) those providing material assistance in support of those activities or in support of persons designated for sanctions under the order; and (4) persons owned by, controlled by, or acting on behalf of persons designated for sanctions under the order.
Second, the order lays out the consequences of being selected for sanctions. It imposes asset freezes, prohibitions on the transfer of property located inside the United States, or under the control of a U.S. person, to designated persons. It also bans contributions to, and the receipt of contributions from, designated persons. The order additionally prohibits the issuance of visas to designated individuals. Moreover, it forbids transactions designed to circumvent the order and attempts and conspiracies to violate the order.