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UN Security Council calls for peace in South Sudan

IANS 09 Aug 2014, 7:03:00 AM IST
United Nations: The UN Security Council on Friday voiced grave concern at the political, security and humanitarian crisis gripping South Sudan, calling on political leaders to implement the peace agreements.

The council expressed "grave concern regarding the substantial deterioration of the political and security situation in South Sudan since Dec 15, 2013, Xinhua reported.

The council members strongly condemned repeated violations of the ceasefire, as well as violations of humanitarian law and human rights and emphasised the importance of holding accountable those who commit such violations.

The statement also called on the government of South Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to engage in ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia, which recommenced Aug 4, and uphold their commitment to establish a transitional government of national unity by the deadline of Aug 10.

It further emphasized the council's grave concern with food insecurity in South Sudan, noting that the country may be on the verge of famine, and called for unfettered humanitarian access.

Two days ago, the council held a briefing, followed by consultations, on South Sudan.

During the briefing, Edmond Mulet, assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations gave an alarming assessment of the situation in South Sudan, saying that the country was on the verge of a "humanitarian catastrophe" as fighting continued.

According to Mulet, an estimated 1.5 million people have been uprooted in the fighting that started with a political impasse in December 2013 between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.

The conflict also sent nearly 100,000 civilians fleeing to the UN bases around the country.

The cessation of hostilities agreements of Jan 23, May 9 and June 10 have all been breached.

Friday's statement came ahead of the council's upcoming visiting mission to South Sudan.