July 10, 2014 (BRUSSELS) – The European Union has imposed sanctions on South Sudanese military generals Santino Deng and Peter Gadet for their involvement in the ongoing conflict.
- SPLA General Peter Gadet Yaak addresses the press in Jonglei capital Bor on 2 April 2013 (ST)
The commander of the SPLA third infantry division, Deng reportedly took part in May’s recapture of the Unity state capital, Bentiu.
"Santino Deng is thus responsible for violations of the 23 January cessation of hostilities agreement," EU said in its journal issued Friday.
Gadet was described as the leader of the anti-government Nuer militia that conducted an attack on Bentiu in April, violating the 23 January ceasefire agreement.
"The attack resulted in the killing of more than 200 civilians. Peter Gadet is thus responsible for fuelling the cycle of violence, thus obstructing the political process in South Sudan, and for serious human rights violations," it further said.
The two military leaders have also been banned from traveling to any of the EU member countries and their assets will be frozen.
Restrictive measures imposed by the EU may target governments of third countries, or non-state entities and individuals and such sanctions may comprise arms embargoes, other specific or general trade restrictions (import and export bans), financial restrictions, restrictions on admission (visa or travel bans), or other measures, as appropriate.
On Thursday, the EU Council announced that it would impose sanctions against two military generals responsible for obstructing the South Sudan peace process, which is being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
“Two persons responsible for violating the ceasefire agreement will be targeted with a travel ban and a freeze of their assets in the European Union. At the same time, an existing arms embargo against South Sudan will remain in place,” the EU said in its 10 July statement.
In a separate declaration, the EU termed these restrictive measures as "a first step" and called on the warring parties to reach a peaceful solution to the country’s six month conflict.
“It is now time for the South Sudanese leaders to rise to the challenge and start negotiating in good faith towards a peaceful, equitable and sustainable solution,” the declaration said.
The IGAD mediators decided last month to suspend the peace talks following a decision by the SPLM In Opposition led by Riek Machar to boycott the negotiations. The talks, analysts say, provide the best hope for ending the six-months conflict.
On 7 May, US secretary of state John Kerry imposed sanctions on two military generals from both the government and rebel sides The commander of the presidential guard unit Marial Chanuong and Gadet were described by the US administration as being "responsible for perpetrating unthinkable violence against civilians”.
In line with this decision, however, Washington decided to freeze any assets the two military officials may have in the US and prevented American companies from dealing with them. They also are banned from travelling to the US.