The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on six generals accused of fuelling conflict in South Sudan.
The generals, three from each side of the conflict, will face global travel bans and asset freezes.
On Monday, a UN report alleged that government troops had gang-raped and burned alive women and girls in the oil-rich Unity State, during an offensive against rebel forces.
South Sudan, the world’s newest state, has been hit by conflict since 2013.
Among those targeted by the sanctions is the commander of President Salva Kiir special guard, Maj-Gen Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok.
On the rebel side, they include Maj-Gen Simon Gatwech Dual, chief of general staff for the opposition forces and a key ally of rebel leader Riek Machar.
The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said the Security Council had demonstrated that those who committed atrocities and undermined peace would face consequences.
“South Sudan’s political leadership has squandered the international goodwill that accompanied its independence and pursued political and economic self-interest that has produced only violence, displacement and suffering for the South Sudanese people,” she added.
A UN report released on Monday described horrific violence in the latest fighting in Unity State.
It quoted witnesses as saying that the army had gang-raped girls and burnt them alive in huts
South Sudan will be marking four years of independence next week after it seceded from Sudan.
At least two million people have been left homeless by the conflict which erupted in December 2013 after Mr Kiir accused Mr Machar, his sacked deputy, of plotting a coup.
Mr Machar denied the allegation, but then formed a rebel army to fight the government.
Various efforts to mediate an end to the conflict have failed.
Earlier this month, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator in the country, Toby Lanzer, was expelled by the government.
Reports say he was kicked out for highlighting the plight of those caught up in the conflict.