EU Announces Sanctions against SPLA Commander Gen. Santino Deng Top story

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In short
The European Union explained that the SPLA commander Santino Deng Wol took part in the capture of Bentiu in May 2014 and therefore is responsible for violating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January. Gadet on the other hand is accused of fueling a cycle of violence, thus impeding the political process for a resolution of the conflict, according to the EU. He was already named by the United States government to its own sanctions list in May.

The European Union has announced travel bans and asset freezes on SPLA 3rd Infantry Division Commander Santino Deng Wol and Gen.  Peter Gadet, the leader of the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), the largest rebel movement in South Sudan.

The two military leaders are accused of violating ceasefire agreements put in place to stop fighting that has killed thousands.

The European Union explained that the SPLA commander Santino Deng Wol took part in the capture of Bentiu in May 2014 and therefore is responsible for violating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January. Gadet on the other hand is accused of fueling a cycle of violence, thus impeding the political process for a resolution of the conflict, according to the EU. He was already named by the United States government to its own sanctions list in May.

Yesterday the EU announced it would be naming several South Sudanese leaders to a sanctions list, without disclosing any names until today, when they were added to the EU Official Journal.

"The Council today imposed sanctions against individuals obstructing the South Sudanese peace process and responsible for atrocities, as part of wider EU efforts to stop violence and avoid further instability in the region," said a statement by the EU.

Under the EU sanctions, any assets belonging to the two men within the European Union will be frozen and Banks that allow transactions or transfers of funds belonging to the two men will be penalized. The sanctions come into effect today while an existing EU arms embargo on South Sudan also remains in place.

Fighting erupted in Juba in December, pitting the government forces of President Salva Kiir against supporters of Riek Machar, his former deputy and long-time rival. The conflict has reopened deep ethnic tensions in the world's youngest country, which only won independence from Sudan in 2011. The United Nations estimates more than 10,000 people have been killed since December, and about a million displaced.

In May, the United States imposed sanctions on Peter Gadet, an army commander loyal to Machar, and Major-General Marial Chanuong, head of Kiir's presidential guard, freezing any assets they might hold in the United States, and blocked U.S. citizens or companies from dealing with them.

Last month, IGAD, the main mediating body in the peace talks threatened to impose sanctions on the warring sides unless they stopped all military operations.