Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Sanctions 6 Commanders in S. Sudan Conflict

A Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) commander dons his division's insignia in Bentiu, Unity State, South Sudan.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on six South Sudan commanders for perpetuating the conflict in the African country.

Three government military generals and three rebel commanders are now subject to a global travel ban and asset freeze.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said the sanctions demonstrate that "those who commit atrocities and undermine peace will face consequences." She said the U.S. and other Security Council members demand both the government and rebels cease offensive military action and commit to negotiating a peace deal.

Fighting in South Sudan erupted in December 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to former Vice President Reik Machar.

The war has driven more than two million people from their homes and created a humanitarian crisis.

The three government commanders sanctioned by the U.N. are Major-General Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, Lieutenant-General Gabriel Jok Riak and Major-General Santino Deng Wol. The three rebel commanders sanctioned are Major-General Simon Gatwech Dual, Major-General James Koang Chuol and Major-General Peter Gadet.

The U.S. imposed its own sanctions on Chanuong, Deng Wol, Chuol and Gadet last year.

Power said the U.S. is "appalled" by reports of atrocities against South Sudanese civilians, including gang rape and burning people alive in their homes.

It is unclear who is behind such crimes. But U.N. officials have said it is the government's responsibility to protect civilians.