(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US announced Tuesday sanctions on two individuals responsible for violating the cessation of hostilities agreement in South Sudan.
Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters during a joint press conference with European Union (EU) High Representative Catherine Ashton, "as President Obama has made clear, we will hold accountable those who stood in the way of a peace plan.
"So today, the United States will announce sanctions on two individuals responsible for violating the cessation of hostilities agreement. Individuals responsible for perpetrating unthinkable violence against civilians," he noted.
The first individual sanctioned in the commander of the South Sudanese government's presidential guard forces, Marial Chanuong, who "led violent attacks against civilians in Juba." The second is Peter Gadet, "who led anti-government forces in the April 17 attack on Bentiu that left more than 200 civilians dead.
"We will do our utmost to prevent South Sudan from plunging back into the violence and despair that tore that country apart for so long," Kerry stressed.
He affirmed "we will continue to stand with the people of South Sudan who called for peace and who recognized that the only way to resolve this conflict is through a political dialogue." Kerry reiterated that the recent attacks by the South Sudanese government and the anti-government forces "are absolutely unacceptable, and the United States condemns them in the strongest terms."