UN's Ban Ki-moon Calls for Ceasefire, Negotiations in South Sudan
Amid the renewed conflict in South Sudan, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate ceasefire and resumption of political negotiations, RIA Novosti reported.
The UN said that Ban "strongly condemns the resumption of hostilities between the Sudan People's Liberation Army and Opposition forces in Bentiu and Rubkona in Unity State, South Sudan" and calls upon President Salva Kiir and Former Vice-President Riek Machar to cease all military operations.
UN Secretary General reminded the conflicting sides of their obligation to protect civilians and urged them to "participate constructively in the on-going political negotiations in Addis Ababa and reach urgently an agreement on inclusive and comprehensive transitional arrangements."
Throughout the conflict, displaced people have sought shelter in the bases of the UN Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS. The UN said Ban "reminds all parties of the inviolability of all UN premises, including UNMISS Protection of Civilians sites, where the Mission is currently protecting some 100,000 displaced civilians country-wide - 49,000 of them in Bentiu alone."
The Secretary General also noted that the current resumption of hostilities undermines the efforts by the East African Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to find a political solution of the conflict.
The violence in South Sudan escalated last December after the President Salva Kiir accused ex-vice-president, Riek Machar, of plotting to overthrow him. Thousands of people have been killed in the violence and more than a million displaced during the South Sudanese Civil War.
Despite signing a ceasefire earlier this year, the two factions continued fighting.
Late in September, IGAD, which has been mediating peace talks in Ethiopia between the warring South Sudanese factions, announced that the sides had agreed on the establishment of a federal system of government. The exact date of introduction of the federal system was not agreed at the moment.
The international development charity Oxfam says famine is a serious threat in 2015 for South Sudan if the conflict continues.