June, 17, 2014 (GENEVA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar should begin the process of forming a transitional government formation they recently agreed upon, the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-Moon said.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Salva Kiir speak to the media in Juba (File/AFP)
In his remarks at press conference in Geneva Tuesday, Ban described the South Sudan situation as grave, stressing that both warring parties “must” uphold the cessation of hostilities agreement reached in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Kiir and Machar agreed on 10 June to end the ongoing conflict in the country and fully engage in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led peace talks.
The meeting, on the sidelines of the IGAD summit, was only the second direct engagement between the two rival leaders since conflict erupted in mid-December last year. It also follows the 9 May signing of a roadmap agreement to guide further negotiations.
Meanwhile, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it is protecting some 93,000 displaced people within its sites.
Humanitarian agencies in the country are reportedly faced with the need to assist up to 1.5 million displaced throughout the country, and some 3.5 million people enduring alarming levels of food insecurity. Last month, at least $600 million was pledged by donors at a conference organised to raise funds for South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis in Oslo, Norway.
“It is essential that the pledges made at last month’s donor conference in Oslo are translated into funding to save lives now”, emphasised the UN secretary-general.