South Sudan

UN Steps Up Call For Peace Talks In S. Sudan

story sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>In a statement, capsule UN Secterary General Ban Ki-moon, ed voiced “serious concerns” over the fighting that began on December 15, and is continuing in the capital, Juba, and other areas, reportedly resulting in large numbers of casualties, as well as over the risk of targeted violence against certain communities.

“The Members of the Security Council urged all parties to immediately cease hostilities, exercise restraint and refrain from violence and other actions that could exacerbate tensions,” said the statement.

“They also underscored the vital importance of protection of all civilians, regardless of their communities of origin, and called for all authorities to respect the rule of law and human rights.”

According to Ki-moon, the political situation in South Sudan can only be resolved though political dialogue.

This has come at a time when fighting has erupted in the second and the largest Jonglei state in Southern Sudan between the mutinying soldiers and those loyal to President Salva Kiir.


However, president Salva Kiir has revealed his readiness and willingness to hold talks with his rival Riek Machar stating “I’m willing to talk to the hiding and defiant Machar to find an end to the crisis which has now taken three days resulting into loss of many lives and hundreds of injuries”.

Media reports say that hundreds of people have been killed since the clashes between members of the national forces, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), began over the weekend, following what the Government says is an attempted coup by soldiers loyal to former deputy president, Riek Machar, who was dismissed in July.

Toby Lanzer, the assistant of Ban Ki-moon in Juba, says today, Wednesday, there are 10,000 refugees and others still pouring in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases despite gun sounds going down.

Ban’s full statement on South Sudan:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have just briefed the Security Council on the challenges of illicit drug-trafficking in the Sahel and West Africa.

At this time I would like briefly to say a few words about the latest situation and developments in South Sudan.

I am deeply concerned about the current situation in South Sudan.

I spoke to President Salva Kiir yesterday morning, urging him to do everything possible he can to end the violence and to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law.

I also impressed on him the need to resume dialogue with the political opposition. I welcome the reports this morning that President Salva Kiir is willing to enter into such talks.

I also spoke to President [Yoweri] Museveni of Uganda because of his role as regional leader.

My Special Representative, Hilde Johnson, remains in constant contact with the Government and others with influence on these issues – including a meeting with the President today, where similar messages were conveyed.

This is a political crisis, and urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue. There is a risk of this violence spreading to other States, and we have already seen some signs of this.

It is essential to protect the human rights of all those who are detained. Mandated human rights monitors must have full access to visit the detainees. Security forces must operate in full compliance with international humanitarian law.

The UN Mission in South Sudan has received reports of many people being killed and injured. We are in the process of verifying the reports.

Our mission continues to support civilians in its two compounds in Juba – now numbering close to 20,000 — as well as several hundred in Jonglei.

I call on the Government to cooperate fully with UNMISS as it fulfils its protection mandate, including in the provision of basic relief to civilians in need and in conducting human rights investigations into allegations of human rights abuses in recent days.

I count on President Salva Kiir’s leadership at this critical moment.

Thank you very much.

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