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UN chief welcomes S. Sudan’s acceptance of regional forces

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August 7, 2016 (JUBA) – The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has welcomed South Sudan’s acceptance of a regional protection force to help subdue the ongoing violence in the country.

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The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon handshake with the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir at Presidential Palace, J1 in Juba capital on February 25, 2016 (UNMISS photo)

Ki-moon, in a statement, called on all South Sudanese parties to uphold their responsibility to protect civilians and to demonstrate their commitment to a peace deal which was signed in August 2015.

The UN chief also welcomed the communique issued at a summit of heads of states and governments of the regional bloc (IGAD) Plus countries in Ethiopia, which proposed deployment of forces.

“He [Ki-moon] commends the IGAD leaders for their decisive action and welcomes the Government of South Sudan’s acceptance of a regional protection force,” a spokesperson for the UN chief, said.

“Mr. Ban called on all South Sudanese leaders to set aside their personal differences and demonstrate their commitment to the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, which remains the only viable path to ending the crisis, he added.

Last month, deadly clashes between South Sudan’s warring factions in the capital, Juba killed over 270 people and displaced more than 40,000 civilians.

During the clashes, UN compounds and civilian protection sites managed by the UN Mission in South Sudan were also attacked.

According to a preliminary UN investigation into the recent fighting and its aftermath, South Sudan government security forces allegedly carried out killings and rapes, and looted and destroyed properties.

The UN expressed concerns that conflict and instability has spread to previously unaffected areas in the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal regions of South Sudan, despite last year’s peace deal.

The UN secretary general further decried the continued fighting in the country and called for an immediate end to the hostilities.

“He [Ki-moon] is outraged by the continued reports of serious human rights violations and abuses, including widespread sexual violence against women and young girls, committed by armed men in uniform,” he said, calling on all parties to uphold their responsibility to protect civilians and demanded that they take immediate steps to hold accountable those responsible for these “despicable” crimes.

The UN chief, however, reiterated his commitment to work with all South Sudanese, IGAD, the African Union and international partners to implement the recommendations of the East African summit.

(ST)

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