News / Africa

EU Sanctions South Sudan Militia Leader, Army Commander

Both men sanctioned by the European Union on July 11, 2014 led forces fighting in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state. The city is shown here in January 2014 after it was recaptured by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
Both men sanctioned by the European Union on July 11, 2014 led forces fighting in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state. The city is shown here in January 2014 after it was recaptured by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
Philip AleuKarin Zeitvogel

The European Union on Friday published the names of two South Sudanese men it is sanctioning for obstructing peace in the country.

One of them, Peter Gadet, is the leader of a rebel militia. The other is Santino Deng, a commander in the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

Gadet is accused of leading an attack on the town of Bentiu in April, in which more than 200 civilians were killed, some of whom were sheltering in mosques, churches and hospitals at the time of the attack.

The EU accuses Gadet of fueling violence in South Sudan, obstructing the political process, and serious human rights violations.

The United States imposed targeted sanctions on Gadet in May.

Santino Deng, SPLA commander

Santino Deng is commander of the Third Infantry Division of the SPLA. The EU says Deng violated the cessation of hostilities agreement, which was signed by the government and opposition in January, when he took part in fighting to recapture of Bentiu in May 2014.

The sanctions bar both men from travelling to European Union countries and freezes any assets they have in the EU. The sanctions will be valid for one year.

South Sudan presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said the government was taken aback at Santino's inclusion in the sanctions.

“There is no commander in the government that is obstructing peace," Ateny said.

"They fall under one command, so they all stopped (fighting) since the president signed the ceasefire agreement on the 9th of May. Even the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in January, they have been respecting it. Only they can fight in self-defense, when they are attacked," he said.

Government calls rebels EU's spoiled child

Ateny said the EU appears to be favoring rebel groups.

"They are trying to punish the wrong people," he told South Sudan in Focus.

"The government has always been committed to the peace agreement. It is the rebels who are looking like the spoiled child of the international community who can just do anything. The rebels will get away with whatever they want because the international community is not looking at them," he said.

The managing director for Africa of the EU's diplomatic corps, Nick Westcott, said the European Union imposed the sanctions because, in the face of a dire humanitarian situation and looming famine,"We could not wait any longer."

More than 10,000 people have died and more than 1.5 million have been displaced since fighting broke out in December in Juba, before spreading to other parts of the country.

Talks led by regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to restore peace were adjourned indefinitely last month amid a row over which civil society groups should have a seat at the negotiating table.

The EU has said the sanctions against Gadet and Deng are just a first step and warned that it will impose more sanctions on other officials if the two sides in the seven-month conflict do not resume peace talks soon and make a real effort to reach and stick to a peace agreement.


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Comment Sorting
by: Kuch from: Bor
July 12, 2014 4:59 AM
This so-called sanctions against the two military strong men is just a show. The West should just get rid of the 'word' sanction in vocabularies because: Firstly, the word sanction these days is improperly by the West, most the US, the UK as a tool to silent those who challenge them, secondly the US and the UK have become the world bullies such that money countries that are these days saying, to hell with these bullies and can just ignore what the US, the UK or sometimes in some cases; France also indulged in those US and intrigues.

But their so-called sanctions are sometimes even been equated to biblical monsters, the satan that is alleged to be seating on the door of the banks and food stores in future times and anyone who doesn't bow down to her will starve!

Thirdly, the US-UK so-called sanctions don't really help the little men or little women, they pretended to help, but always increase their sufferings. In case of South Sudan though. Why is the US-UK tight-lipped on condemning Riek Machar by wanting to oust out an elected government by force, instead the US is equating Riek Machar actions to the an elected government that has a constitutional mandate to protect its citizens against a criminals who wants to power by force?

Take for example, if anyone in the US or the UK springs up and wanted to change an elected their governments by the way of force, are the governments of the US and UK sit by and watch their constitutional mandate being challenged by a criminal with ethniclally armed rebellion? I believe not. Just in 2011, there were riots on England streets, where innocent civilian properties were destroyed and innocent civilians lives were put in jeopardy, did Dave Cameron just sat by and watch his constitutional mandate by the British people illegally challenged by the hooligans, just because one rogue policeman has overstep his duty by shooting an unarmed black boy?

No, the police man who shot that black man has his/her own case to answer, but the English or the greater British citizenry deserve their own peace and properties protected.

I am not in anyway, juxtaposing what transpired in South Sudan, in thousands lost their own dear lives with what happened in London in 20011; allegorically, they are similar in the nature of their occurrences, both cases were ignited by the action of those in authority, but everyone else in the world kept his/her distance or his/her mouth damn shut because they really know that the British know best what really happened in London between the Police man and that black fellow who was unfortunately shot dead.

Is the whole world so that dumb that they don't know how much some rogue British authorities often mistreat their minorities; of course not. But there are some issues that best better be left to the local authorities to mend them up themselves, without others sticking their 'foot and mouth' into them otherwise " too many spoons spoil the broth" the English saying goes!

Why is a guy like Riek Machar, a mad man who does have nothing to give or show to South Sudanese people; but death always is always supported the people in England or the US all the times? In 1991, they did, 2013-2014; they again did the same?

South Sudanese people, no matter poor they are, they are not that very poor in the truth and in honesty and the US and the UK think they can support and any damn evil they so think will work for their best interests first and not the South Sudanese people interests, but their Riek Machar will never ever smell the seat of presidency in South Sudan, whether his Supporters in the US or the UK want it or not.

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