A United Nations committee is weighing imposing sanctions on six senior commanders from South Sudan, the first to face penalties over the 18-month war, diplomats said Friday.
A newly formed UN sanctions committee on South Sudan is considering slapping an assets freeze and global travel ban on the six military leaders from the government and rebel sides, according to documents obtained by AFP.
They are Major General Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, commander of President Salva Kiir's presidential guard; Lieutenant General Gabriel Jok Riak, whose forces are fighting in Unity State; and Major General Santino Deng Wol who led a military offensive through Unity State in May in which children, women and old men were killed.
From the rebel side, Major General Simon Gatwech Dual, the chief of the general staff, is cited for leading offensives in Jonglei State as well as Major General James Koang Chuol who led attacks in Upper Nile State and General Peter Gadet, the rebels' deputy chief of staff for operations.
South Sudan has been torn by fighting since December 2013 between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy, Riek Machar.
The world's newest nation is now in the throes of a dire humanitarian crisis, with more than 2.5 million people facing severe food shortages.
The United Nations has repeatedly called on the two leaders to stop fighting and put South Sudan back on the path to peace.
More than 120,000 people are sheltering in UN bases in South Sudan.
The Security Council threatened in March to impose sanctions on those who obstruct peace and adopted a resolution to set up a committee to begin work on the measures.
The six names would be the first to be considered by the committee which reports to the Security Council.