UN Security Council approves sanctions for six South Sudanese
1 July 2015 - The UN Security Council today imposed a global travel ban and asset freeze on six South Sudanese commanders from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA-IO) forces.
“Today, the Security Council took strong action in support of a peaceful end to the conflict in South Sudan by sanctioning six South Sudanese individuals for fueling the ongoing conflict,” U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Power said in a statement.
The three individuals from the SPLA are Major General (Maj. Gen.) Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen.) Gabriel Jok Riak, and Maj. Gen. Santino Deng Wol.
According to a Security Council press release, Maj. Gen. Mangok is the Commander of the Presidential Guard Unit which led the slaughter of Nuer civilians in and around Juba, many of whom were buried in mass graves.
As commander of SPLA Sector One that operates mainly in Unity State, Lt. Gen. Riak has expanded or extended the conflict through breaches of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreements, the release said.
It also noted that Maj. Gen. Wol, as commander of the SPLA Third Division, led an offensive in Unity State in May in which children, women and old men were killed.
From the opposition forces, those sanctioned are Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chuol and Maj. Gen. Peter Gadet.
Maj. Gen. Dual, SPLA-IO Chief of General Staff, was previously the commander of opposition forces in Jonglei State where his forces conducted an attack in early February 2015 and other attacks on civilians in March 2015.
Maj. Gen. Chuol is the commander of the SPLA-IO Special Division forces. In February 2014, forces under his command attacked UN camps, hospitals, churches and schools, and engaged in widespread rape and torture.
Forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Gadet, the SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, targeted civilians in April 2014 during an assault on Bentiu that included killings based on ethnicity.
“As the members of the Security Council demonstrated today, those who commit atrocities and undermine peace will face consequences,” said Ms. Power. “The United States joins other members of the Security Council in demanding that both parties immediately cease offensive military action and commit themselves to the difficult but necessary task of negotiating a peace agreement.”
The US envoy to the UN added that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation in South Sudan and was ready to impose additional sanctions.
She added that the United States was appalled by a recent UNMISS report which detailed the targeting of women and girls for sexual abuse and burning alive of civilians in their homes. She called for full investigation of the allegations and stressed that perpetrators must held accountable.
Noting that South Sudan will celebrate four years of independence next week, Ms. Power decried actions by the country’s leaders during this time.
“(The) political leadership has squandered the international goodwill that accompanied its independence and pursued political and economic self-interest that has produced only violence, displacement and suffering for the South Sudanese people,” she said. “Political and military leaders on all sides of this conflict must put aside their self-serving ambitions, end the fighting, and engage in negotiations to establish a transitional government.”