The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on six commanders from South Sudan.
From the government side, the three are: Major General Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, commander of President Salva Kiir’s presidential guard; Lieutenant General Gabriel Jok Riak, whose forces are fighting in Unity State; and Major General Santino Deng Wol, who led an offensive through Unity State in May in which children, women and old men were killed.
From the SPLA-IO, the sanctions target Major General Simon Gatwech Dual, chief of the general staff, Major General James Koang Chuol, who led attacks in Upper Nile State and General Peter Gadet, the rebels’ deputy chief of staff for operations.
“As the members of the Security Council demonstrated today, those who commit atrocities and undermine peace will face consequences,” US Ambassador Samantha Power said in a statement
Last week, Britain, France and the United States requested that the six men – three from the government forces and three from the Opposition – be subject to a global travel ban and an assets freeze for their role in the conflict.
However, the International Crisis Group has advised against the sanctions, saying the decision ‘undermines the renewed impetus for a coordinated international approach to peacemaking in South Sudan’.
The Brussels-based crisis preventing group argues that none of the six named generals is responsible for the failure to reach a peace agreement.
It said the commanders ‘are not key political decision makers and do not play major roles in shaping positions at the Addis Ababa negotiations’.
Political analysts often doubt effectiveness of the US sanctions since the targeted individuals do not have assets in foreign nations.
Last year, the European Union did impose sanctions against Maj-Gen Wol, alongside Peter Gatdet.
In response, Wol told Eye Radio that he has no money or property in Europe:
“Since we were in the bush, I have never gone to Europe. I have never seen Europe. I have spent 21 years in the bush here. I have nothing to say about this and I have nothing to tell them and I have nothing to do with them, because I have never been to Europe.”
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